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Live Podcasting: How to Grow a Dedicated Following in Real Time

Live Podcasting: How to Grow a Dedicated Following in Real Time

  • Apr 09, 2024
Nathan Gwilliam

In this episode of Podcasting Secrets, host Nathan Gwilliam speaks with podcasting and business growth pro, Christoph Trappe about how to build a successful and engaging podcast through live-streaming. Christoph shares his secrets for getting high-profile guests like Seth Godin, how to set up a professional podcast studio on a budget, why live streaming builds your audience quicker than posting episodes alone, and how you can maximize engagement by responding to live listener comments in real time. Tune in to discover powerful tips and strategies to level up your podcast strategy and learn what the future holds for podcasting and live video in the age of AI and the metaverse.


Follow along with the transcript: 


Nathan Gwilliam: Hello, incurable creators for this episode. I'm joined by Christophe Trapp. Christophe is the director of content strategy at Grow Getter. It's a growth marketing and market research firm. Christophe has written a three book marketing series, including a book about live streaming. It's called Go Live, Live podcasting For the Win.

He's an accomplished blogger and you can see his blog at Christophe trap. com. He has driven content strategy and market research for growgitter. io clients, and he is a global speaker. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode, Christophe.

Christoph Trappe: You bet. Nice to see you, Nathan. Really looking forward to it.

Nathan Gwilliam: Can you start off by sharing with us your podcasting journey?

Christoph Trappe: I've been podcasting for probably a decade, but at the beginning, it was very different, it was super hard in my opinion to get your podcast even on Apple Podcasts, or I think it was called iTunes at that point, or something like that.

I was just doing it on my website, like record different interviews and can upload them there and didn't want to get too involved in the technical side. And then at some point I started just recording them with my phone, which was then called Anchor. fm that has since been acquired by Spotify.

Christoph Trappe: In fact I still remember when I did an interview with Seth Godin, who's of course, a big name out there, I'm sitting on my couch with my phone in my hand and I'm interviewing him and uploading, downloading directly to Anchor at that point today, I do all my shows of the business storytelling show are live streamed then they go to the podcast channels, like all the podcasts do.

And then it actually goes on TV as well. DBT tv. And which is the reason why it's 24 minutes, right? Because of the ad breaks. That's the spot I have on there. And so it's just interesting how it has evolved from oh, we'll do it on the website. Here's an audio to, we'll do it on the phone.

And now I have this full fledged, let's call it a studio, Nathan, right? You can see I have sound panels behind me. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7 lights on me. Which seems a little overkill on a podcast, but I know we're doing video. It's a night and day in my tip, honestly, to people, always this, you don't have to start with seven lights, start with one in front of you.

Start with one microphone in front of you. And don't, compare yourself to my 644th episode when you were doing your first episode.

Nathan Gwilliam: Yeah, definitely. Just get started. And I'm surprised some people that can even do it successfully from their iPhone or they can do it successfully from their MacBook.

It's not as hard as you think to just get started and then you can improve as you go. Really important point.

What's the hardest thing that you went through on your journey and how'd you get through it?

Christoph Trappe: Early on I would say a lot of the technical stuff things used to be really difficult, back in the day to get on Alexa, you had to create an Alexa skill, which you can still, which you still can do today, quite honestly, but for, from the podcaster side today, if you upload your podcast to Amazon music, guess what? You can say, Hey, Alexa, Play whatever the podcast name is and it'll probably play it right because that's where it pulls from so the technical side Has become so much easier. So I think that's always been a big challenge early on in my career and now you know since I've talked to so many different people I think the biggest challenge today for me is I want good guests and I always wanted to good guests on my show But the first four guests they could talk about storytelling right Nathan if somebody comes to me today and they said hey I want to do an episode to talk about business storytelling.

I will say what about it? I know that's the name of the show, but we've had probably a hundred episodes on business storytelling, so what's the different angle. So I think that becomes the bigger your audience grows. I think the more you become you want to make sure they come back, right?

You want to make sure they enjoy it. So all back in the day on the phone might've been good enough today. I think the quality needs to be there, or at least it needs to be at least closer to pretty good I don't want to say perfect because what's ever perfect, nothing. But I think that's definitely probably the biggest challenge right now for me to make sure I get the right guests, make sure it's fun, make sure they get something unique to say.

And at the day, you have to make it fun. If you're just like, I don't care how big of a thought leader you are. And if you sound monotonous, I'm not going to listen to you for 30 minutes, right? It has to be a little bit engaging. Even if it's good materials, a little sizzle and state, so to speak.

Nathan Gwilliam: So talking about fun, what is the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you in your 500 and whatever episodes?

Christoph Trappe: 644 is next week. Mostly I like to recover pretty quick, so I don't know what has been embarrassing, but I think one of the worst fails probably was when my live stream completely dropped out.

And what I mean by that is, so I'm, I have myself and guest, and I'm throwing it over to the guest and the guest is talking. And while she's talking, my stream just completely drops out. Like I cannot get back in, nothing. Like I'm just gone. And but it's still running, right? It's still streaming. Nobody knows why, whatever, but she's still talking.

And at some point she's done talking, right? But I never come back, because I'm gone. She's What's going on? Are you still there? And basically at some point she says I don't know what's going on here. Must be a technical issue, goodbye. And she just left this for him too. But that's if you think about a fail, that's probably the biggest fail.

Now, on the flip side, what could I have done about that? Nothing, right? There's as Jason Falls likes to say, there's so many dominoes that have to fall when you live stream most of them out of your control and so you just have to roll with the punches when something happens out of 644 episodes, I guess I didn't do all of them live.

So let's say I did 500 live, probably something bad ish happened, maybe ten episodes, so it's not the norm. It is the minority, but when it does happen, like it certainly stands out and you remember it.

Nathan Gwilliam: Yeah, that is definitely embarrassing. When we have those technology fails. I remember interviewing John Lee Dumas once on a show and I, my internet connection just died on me and was so slow and it was just so embarrassing to have someone of that caliber and have that technology.

And yeah, the, I improved my technology. I got Starlink, doing everything that I can to help prevent the same fail from happening again but that is embarrassing. And you just got to roll with it and learn and put yourself in a better spot so that doesn't happen.

What are some of the things that you could do, just like I improved to Starlink and got a better internet connection, what are some of the things that you can do to crease the chance you're not going to have a fail on your live stream.

Christoph Trappe: Automate as much stuff as you can. And I'll give you an example. I think you do this too. Maybe I'm wrong. So if you sign up for my podcast, so first of all, if I invite you on my show, I will send you a Calendly link. I'm sorry if you're one of the people that doesn't like Calendly to book anything, you cannot come on my show.

I'm sorry, like maybe if you're like a really big name or something, but I need you to, on my Calendly, I have all the stuff and it says, here's what it's going to be. Here's what we're going to be doing. So I set the expectation of how long it is, where it goes, blah, blah, blah. And then I make sure that people know that they need to have a good setup.

Now they don't need seven lights. They don't need a highly professional microphone, but they need something. So it sounds good and it looks good, right? To an extent, it's look as good as it can look. And I make them check a box, right? Yes I understand that's important and that's my responsibility. I also tell them about all the other things we're going to be doing and then it's just setting the stage.

Then eight days out, I send them an email automatically and I say, here's what we're going to be doing. Just a reminder, I'm going to start promoting it tomorrow. If there's any changes in topics or schedules, now's the time to let me know. Because then a day later, I get an email for myself, automated, to remind me to now start promoting the show.

And then they actually get another email the day before, blah, blah, blah, letting them know to show up at the top of the hour. So here's, I think this is actually very different from a lot of live streamers. So sometimes live streamers, they say, hey, we'll go live at noon. Whatever and they set the invite for noon.

And then as soon as they're done, they go, please show up 10 minutes early. It's like the doctor's office, and I hate this at the doctor's office too, because we just agreed to noon and now it's 10 minutes early or 15 even for some, so I usually book the slot, let's say noon, and then we go live at 12:15 or 12:10 or something like that, because I think it's super rude when people do that, quite frankly, I think it's rude when the doctor's office does it too, but so anyway, so I think just to set that environment to have a few minutes to chat, to make it to build a little bit of a rapport and then you go through all the different things like, Hey, okay, what's your book? Let me throw up your book if they have a book, what website should we put at the bottom? I have a ticker at the bottom, so I make him feel comfortable.

But yeah, story and I can tell about what we're going to be doing. And I actually, I run all my episodes through Otter AI. So this But yeah, we care about your story and a hundred percent of the time, right on the podcast. My guest gets about 70, sometimes 65 roughly. And I usually get about 30 to 35.

And the reason I bring that up because I want to make sure they get most of the floor, but they don't get the entire state. So and they don't have to feel that pressure to just be talking and talking. So my story, I'll tell you my story. You tell your story, you add it back and forth.

So I just talk about that. It's a conversation, just, have fun, share what you want to share. If you misspeak, explain it as soon as you catch it, because we're live. And just roll with the punches. Just have fun.

Nathan Gwilliam: I think we got a little bit ahead of ourselves in that this show is about podcasting secrets and usually ask my guests, what is your secret sauce, what's your best secret for podcasting? And I think we just dove into your best secret is live streaming your biggest secret to success for podcasting?

Christoph Trappe: Probably is. And the reason I still think the live streaming of a podcast is important because building a podcast is actually really hard, right? As we all know, and building a following. And I know there's so many different channels and like now Google podcasts is going away and what if that was your highest performing channel? Maybe it wasn't, but I'm just saying, do you know what I mean? It is pretty hard. And so I'm a big fan of really getting the most out of my pockets.

And so I live stream them to LinkedIn, YouTube. And of course the YouTube video now also goes to YouTube music because it's set as a podcast playlist. So make sure you do that. I also still live stream to X. I don't really do much on there right now. It really has changed quite a bit in the last year or whatever it's been.

But I still stream there because, no skin of my back. What's interesting about X I get a couple of hundred views of the live stream, which is crazy because everybody says they're leaving X and then I'm, I actually get more views on X right now than I probably did two years ago.

So I don't know why that is. But my point is, so that really illustrates streaming to the channels where you already have a following. It can actually build your, it can build your podcast quicker and no, it doesn't show up in your Spotify stats or your anchor or a bus sprout or wherever you're hosting your show.

But at the end of the day, it still helps your show grow, and people hear about it. So I'm a big fan of that. I don't know if it's a secret sauce necessarily. I talk about it freely wrote a book about the topic but I think it's, if you're new, if you're launching your podcast today. I think it's I don't know why people wouldn't do it, to be fair.

Nathan Gwilliam: Yeah one of the biggest reasons I've seen to live stream is the algorithms. The search engines and the social media channels seem to preference, whatever the new thing is that they want to, they want people to be doing. And it feels like live streaming is that today.

And I've seen people that instead of uploading an edited video, doing it live they claim to get five times more traffic just because it gets preferenced more in the algorithms. Have you seen those kind of numbers or what kind of numbers have you seen of archived edited videos uploaded versus lives, live videos?

Christoph Trappe: So the one thing I want to mention too is that so Spotify now is video too. So once you have the live stream video, why wouldn't you upload the video file to Spotify? And I bet everybody else is going to be behind that at some point, that they have video. I know Apple already does, but not everybody has access to it. And I've personally never seen a video on Apple podcast, to be honest.

Nathan Gwilliam: The algorithms, are you seeing a lot more traffic from doing it live as opposed to archived?

Christoph Trappe: I definitely see more traffic just because there is traffic, right? And that's traffic I wouldn't have gotten without going there. But how much it is really as algorithms go, it's all over the place. Sometimes it's a few hundred, sometimes it's a few thousands.

I also live stream to Amazon. So that's another thing to think about when I have an author on the show and their book is on Amazon, we put up the book on screen and we live stream to Amazon. So you have to apply to get in there. And I, one time, I think my, one of my best performing live streams was on Amazon live and it was like 27, 000 views.

And we were just talking, right? And we were like, it was I don't remember her name right at the second, but it was like, they created this game on how to create your brand and how to walk through the process, but it was like a card game. So we literally just talked about it and we like did the card game on air and then people just watched it.

And it was, 27, 000 and just in context. Even if an average episode gets a few hundred or a couple thousand, let's say that's the average, I think my best performing podcast episode, just like the best, the highest performing one. That's probably like 65, 000. So even that's a lot, but if you think about 27, 000, that's crazy, right?

So you want to multicast and that's the trick here, right? You don't just do the one channel, but you use a tool like Restream, for example, where you can sign a multicast to all the different chains.

Nathan Gwilliam: Have you ever used dual stream where you invite your guests and if they give permission, you can go out to their channels at the same time?

Christoph Trappe: Yep. That's exactly how it goes. So like in Restream, you just click. The different boxes and you say where you want it to go. Most, the major channels are automatic, like LinkedIn, X, YouTube, those kind of ones. You just check the box, but now you can also do Instagram, for example, but you have to go to Instagram after you start the live stream and then you have to turn it on.

So it's a little bit of a hassle, plus it's a different format. It looks differently from the other channels. And like Amazon, you have to do the same thing. You have to open the creator app and then you basically have to go in there and authorize the stream to come through.

But yeah, that's the idea. So it's the same stream. I always have a countdown early on 59 seconds. And what's interesting, when you pay attention on the different network, you see it picks it up at different times, because the countdown never starts at the same time. So you want that countdown at the beginning on the live stream, and then later you can cut it out.

You can trim it out afterwards.

Nathan Gwilliam: Okay so you've shared with us some of the benefits of live streaming, right? One more way to grow your reach and your following. We've talked about algorithm preferencing, maybe. What are some of the other key benefits of live streaming for a business?

Christoph Trappe: One big key benefit, in my opinion, is you can really show your authenticity, right? And you can show off what you're like and you're having a live conversation. Nothing is edited, right? If you say something, it said the way you say it, that's the end of it. There's no editing. It's no there's no, touching it up or whatever. The other thing I like is people can comment and people can ask questions.

And I even enjoy when people just come on and say, awesome discussion. I throw it up on the screen and I might even acknowledge it. Now, it depends how much time we have left, right? If we only have five seconds left, we're not going to do it. But you can throw it up, and I think that's a big advantage and that does help with the algorithm when people comment but, just to have that conversation going.

The one thing to keep in mind if you are engaging with commenters and you have a lot of commenters that doesn't always play very well on the podcast channels, right? I'll give you an example. Russ Brand when he did a live stream a couple of years ago. Like she spent 15 minutes just welcoming people.

Oh, I so and I so and I, that would suck on the podcast, right? Like you have to cut that like that works on the live stream, but it does not work on the podcast. So you have to weigh those different things as well.

Nathan Gwilliam: What are the three most important strategies that a podcaster needs to know to be successful with their live stream?

Christoph Trappe: The biggest thing always is what's your goal? What's point of the podcast? And you really want to be crystal clear on that. I would not recommend for it to be we want to drive 5 million in sales tomorrow after two episodes, that really typically doesn't work. Every once in a while podcasts that go viral out there or something like that, but very rarely does that work if ever, quite honestly.

So make sure you understand what you're trying to do. Some companies, they invite prospects on their podcast. It's like a sales call, but they're, it's, they're not selling anything. They're just building a relationship. So make sure you know what the goal is.

Make sure you know what the format how does it look so on my show the business storytelling show It's like it's actually it doesn't feel that way, but it's very structured, right? Like here are the questions here the segments we go through and you have the same thing what you're doing It's actually really structured. So make sure you know the format but I would not recommend to ask everybody the same questions unless it's they're always very the same topics, but but don't ask people the same questions because it might not be relevant.

Ask them questions about whatever they're doing and then be ready to go, practice, know you're going to get better listen back to your shows, see how it sounds, see how you how everything worked or what didn't work, what can be better. And I think those are the main three things.

I think the bonus tip, some people would like to call it that, is repurpose your content after the fact. And I take my content from my podcast for everything. I create I don't even know what they're called. Videograms in opus clips, right? I make them, I just make the short video clips. I use them as YouTube shorts, Tik Toks, whatever.

So I think that's a good one. I also take the entire episode and turn it into an article. I just did one, actually. I did an episode yesterday with David Newman, Scott, and I took a segment of that podcast interview and turn it into my LinkedIn newsletter and why not, right? And because there's always a new segment, you talk about slightly different things. So each segment could actually be it's own story, its own article, right? They're related, but they're not always the same thing.

So I think those are the main things. Don't worry about equipment too much at the gate. If you're going to worry about it, I would start with the microphone. Honestly, I think that's the biggest thing. If the audio is horrible, it's going to be really difficult for people to enjoy it.

Nathan Gwilliam: What's your favorite microphone you'd recommend?

Christoph Trappe: I currently use the blue Yeti. So that one works. I also used to have one that was like hanging over me here. I don't even know what brand that was.

But I think, a hundred bucks, you probably don't need to spend much more than that. If you go to, if you search for Christoph Trappe on Amazon, you can probably, you can find my storefront and my mics are in there that I'm using. So I think this sounds good, right?

Nathan Gwilliam: Yeah. This sounds great.

Tell me about the biggest mistakes people make when live streaming and how to avoid those.

Christoph Trappe: I think the biggest thing is people sometimes think about it like TV, they think it needs to be perfect. They don't roll with the punches. Or they stress out a little bit. So I think that's the biggest thing.

Just relax, take it easy. Take a deep breath, don't overreact, if something's going to happen, it's going to happen anyways. And then other than that, just get to the point of the story. And that might not even be a live stream issue. That could be just a podcast issue or maybe a meeting issue, even at some companies.

But if you're going to tell a story, get to the point of that story, you don't need to tell every little detail of everything that happened before and after but make your point and then move on. And the reason that's important, because a lot of live streamers and podcasters, they hack up their episodes, right?

Like you probably do that, right? You do the little audiograms or videograms, and when you get to the point of your story, you know what happens? It's way easier to get a good soundbite, and you want people to get a good soundbite because it's more promotion for you. And I can always tell when I have guests on the show, Nathan, that are rambling and rambling.

I'm like, I bet you I will not get a single soundbite out of these folks. And then when I run it through Opus, there's not a usable clip. Because none of their stories are compressed. You know what I mean? Everything goes on and on. And nothing makes sense without the whole story, which is also not a good thing.

Nathan Gwilliam: You've talked a little bit about in the engagement with your audience when you live stream and putting some things up on the screen and how they can chat. Can you give us some tips and secrets about how to engage your audience when you're live streaming?

Christoph Trappe: First of all, what I do is I promote my live stream a week out, so every week, a week before I get the notification to push it out there. So that's the first way to do it, tag the other person that's in it. And then it's out there. If the algorithm does something with it already, fine. If it doesn't, fine too. And you can also invite people.

You can actually go in there because it creates an event on LinkedIn, for example, and invite your connections. I wouldn't probably do that every week, but you could sometimes, or if you have a specific topic for specific people. The other way to engage people, this is, I think this is only available in restream.

Maybe I'm wrong by now, but they were the first ones to market with this. They have a simulcast feature. So if you come on my show I start promoting our show and then I send you the link to simulcast so you can actually set up your own restream account for free. And then it pulls over the stream when we go live and it pushes it to your network, like to your LinkedIn, to your YouTube, wherever you want it to go.

Natively, like you're the live streamer and then when people comment on your page, it shows up in our live stream together and we can pull it up. So that's a really good way to do that as well. And then encourage people, once you're on air tell people, hey, if you have a question, if you have a comment, feel free to chime in, leave a comment, we'll try to answer it.

Some people put it on the lower third. Currently, I usually have the guests website on the lower third. They don't have a website where it's super long. Maybe I put something else there or maybe just go without it. But I've seen Amazon live streamers do that especially they do make sure you follow, especially the follow button used to be very hidden.

So they would try to get people to follow you, but they also say, ask your questions in the comments. So encourage people to participate. And then when they do make sure you respond.

Nathan Gwilliam: Do you find you're able to do that by yourself or do you need a producer, someone sitting next to you who's helping you weed through the comments and respond to them.

Christoph Trappe: When I do my show, I do it by myself, it's just me, but I do the same thing for clients as the producer. And certainly, it is a lot of work to do everything by yourself because you can't read and talk at the same time, right? As we know. And so if you have the luxury of a producer to flip back and forth, look at the comments, put up different things on the screen. I would highly recommend it but, is it truly necessary? Can you do it by yourself? It depends. I do it by myself, but I've also done it for 600 some episodes or 500 some episodes, for the live stream.

And but yeah, if you have the luxury to have somebody help you produce I'd recommend that for sure.

Nathan Gwilliam: Can you share with us a particularly memorable or impactful moment that resonated with you from your live streaming experience?

Christoph Trappe: Every time I learned something new, I think that's memorable to me. It's also memorable when you have people on the show that you can idolize for, you've followed for a long time. I had Jeff Boulas on the show and Seth Godin, I mentioned that. David Newman, Scott, Joe Polizzi, all these people and they're like, big names in the industry.

So it's always neat to get them on the show and to actually talk to them. And I always liken it to, so while some of them would have coffee with me, I know that, but there's many big names. If you were to call them and say, hey, do you want to have virtual coffee? They're like, I know I'm busy.

But if you invite them on your podcast, right? Like they might be willing to do that. And it's really just like you have coffee with them because you're just picking their brain and you're just talking with them. And so I think those things are always great. Every time I figure out some new way of doing something I love to do that.

I still think there's a future of live streaming in the metaverse. I know AI has pushed metaverse out of the headlines a little bit in the last 14 months or so, or 15 months. But there is some future there. I don't know what it is because quite frankly, if this was in 3d or whatever whatever, like who cares to look at me in 3d, right?

This is not action sports. But there's still something at some point, I'm looking forward to figuring it out at some point, but it's probably not going to be this year is my guess.

Nathan Gwilliam: Okay, so talking about what's coming what do you see as the future of live streaming? Anything you're seeing on the horizon that we should be expecting?

Christoph Trappe: AI advances, you never know what some of these companies come up with. About the simulcasting, I'm like, this is the, this is awesome. I would have never I think that this, necessary, but it totally is, right? It's super helpful when your guests can actually just pick the stream and put it on their own page automatically.

So what other advances are coming? I don't know. I think, for companies that are hopping into the game today, I think the biggest thing really truly is to figure out what you're going to do, what you're going to talk about, and how you're going to make it unique. You can't just talk about the same old crap, right?

And you just have to make it fun, but I'm sure technology will continue to evolve. I think the metaverse somehow, but and now, I used to make the joke, Nathan, that we can't live stream in the metaverse because I don't like walking around without legs. And then Mitch Jacks, because the characters used to have no legs.

It was just like the upper body, totally weird. And then Mitch Jackson reminded me that now there are legs, so there are, but the audio is horrible, in my opinion, is completely horrible. So you can't repurpose it, but there's something there. To make it more interactive and, maybe it looks like people sitting next to each other at a table, right?

So like when people join and they want to comment, we're all sitting around a table and you and I are talking and they're sitting there I don't know. It's who knows at this point, it's a little premature, but there's something there.

Nathan Gwilliam: Christophe, if our audiences enjoy this episode as I have, and they want to learn more about you and your products and services, what are the best ways for them to do that?

Christoph Trappe: Yeah, I really appreciate you inviting me on. I always enjoy chatting with you. Christophetrap. com is my blog. You can check that out. My podcast is on there. My day job, I work at growgetter. io, growth marketing in the market research field, so feel free to reach out there as well if if you work there.

And yeah, happy to work with you and hope to see you around. Check check on my blog, listen to the podcast and always happy to hear your thoughts.

Nathan Gwilliam: Perfect. Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing so much value with our audience.

Christoph Trappe: You bet. Thanks for having me.

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