On this episode of Rhodes to Success I interview Jason Cabassi who is the host of the number one fan podcast for AMC’s hit TV show The Walking Dead. Jason’s show The Walking Dead ‘Cast has 25,000 listeners per episode and this week we pick his brain on how to grow an audience for your podcast, have fun with your show, and get a ton of downloads.
Main Questions Asked
- When did you start podcasting?
- What was your vision for the your Walking Dead ‘Cast show?
- Where does your desire to have an audience come from?
- Did your show start out with segments and sound effects or just a conversation between you and Karen?
- Did you teach yourself postproduction and editing as you went?
- How do you get people to engage?
- What is the reason your show became so popular over the years?
- What is the process of getting featured on iTunes?
- How did you make the celebrity interviews happen?
- How did you get into Walker Stalker Con?
- Talk about your vision for the future and how you see this being a career.
Key Lessons Learned
- The Walking Dead ‘Cast started a few months before The Walking Dead TV show actually aired.
- The show modeled itself of the Jay and Jack Lost podcast, which had segments like show recap and listener feedback.
Engagement, Downloads, and iTunes
- Jason chose not to address that the show had a small audience in the beginning and acted as though they had a good size audience from the start.
- In the beginning he asked his friends to leave reviews, write and call in to jumpstart engagement.
- Jason has an eye on trying to reach people who might not find the show on iTunes. In the early days he would get involved in message boards and mention the podcast in forums.
- Jason wrote to Apple and said he’s the number one Walking Dead podcast and would love to talk about any promotional ideas. Apple wrote back!
- There is no secret to high downloads, it’s all about producing great content.
- Jason made friends with other Walking Dead podcasters (rather than avoiding the completion as many might do.)
- He often does collaborations and guests on other shows.
Making Celebrity Interviews Happen
- Jason reached out to all the publicists of the actors on the show in season one in order to get celebrity interviews.
- New actors are more likely to do interviews than more established actors.
- When you reach out to more people, make sure to tell them who you’ve already interviewed and use that as leverage.
- Be persistent. If you don’t get a response just keep writing back every month and always be positive.
- Publicists generally respect persistence and often really do keep your contact details for a later date.
Preparing for Interviews
- Be prepared for your podcast interviews and think what you would genuinely be curious about if you were just sitting with the person having a drink.
- Write 12-15 questions beforehand and try to keep it conversational and not sound too polished (not sounding like a real person.)
- The questions are as a safety net but let conversations go into other areas
- Let the interviewee speak and don’t step on their answers.
The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/thedangerosmakemusic
Links to Resources Mentioned
Walking Dead ‘Cast (Facebook)
Walking Dead ‘Cast (podcast)
Jay and Jack (Lost podcast)
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