In season two episode five, we sit with Randall Libero, a producer from “Voice America”, which is a live online podcast streaming channel. Randall is a speaker and radio-TV host with over 30 years of experience creating original productions in Network and independent television. Over his career, he has taken different media roles like the cameraman, editor, and producer in Los Angeles in the 1980s. In this episode, he shares in-depth insights into the media industry and invaluable key points on podcast growth and branding.
About Voice America
Voice America Networks runs a 12-hour live broadcast schedule from Monday to Friday during the week, with recordings also available 24/7 both on their platform and through mobile apps on devices.
Key tips before going into the media industry
Randall shares that he has an article on his LinkedIn profile on “How to go big with your podcast”. The first step to growing and launching your podcast as a media brand is to know your story, and have a powerful appealing concept. One helpful approach is to serialize your content; an example of this is Randall’s podcast “Marilyn: Behind the Icon”. It is also pivotal to ensure the show is well put together, hence creating a team of the best professionals is crucial, including writers, producers, and technical workers. This is the real secret and formula.
Before starting a podcast
The first question is, “What are your goals for the podcast?” Secondly, how do you tell your personal brand story through this podcast? Next, who is your audience? It is also important to learn by trial and error, to see what works for you, to make mistakes, learn from them and improve on yourself. Randall also highlights that it may help to do a pre-interview with the guest to get an idea of how that person talks, so you can prepare better.
The role of talent cannot be overemphasized; you will knock on doors and those doors will open but will you be able to deliver?
It’s not about you, it’s about your audience. You have to come up with something that will appeal to an audience in terms of how you brand and put out the show. The next question is, how do you make your podcast stand out from the competition? This is where Randall’s work comes in, particularly his knowledge in production, advertising, branding, storytelling, marketing, and other key aspects. Delegating these other jobs allows the podcast host to focus more on the content itself. Talking about following up with social media, Randall explains that while starting a podcast, it is important to note your audience and create the most practical content that will suit them. The way podcasts make money includes building a reputation, making connections, repurposing and reselling content, as well as advertising revenue and sponsorship.
Another key question to ask is, “How do people find your show if they’ve never heard of your show?” This is called Discovery. The first aspect involves choosing a title that’s not the name of a company or brand but rather an original title related to your content that can be optimized through search. Ultimately, the support team is crucial to having a podcast go popular.
About the traumatic podcast series, “Marilyn: Behind The Icon”
This podcast is mostly focused on the life of Marilyn Monroe who had a traumatic childhood but later on went to have a fulfilling career that lasted for about 16years; from age 20 to 36years. She did however have another side to her which was complicated, and this series is based on a two-volume set biographical book about Marilyn, but with her story retold in a way that had not be done before.
“Storytelling never goes away. hence dramatic podcasts and serialized material is going to become more popular in the future”
In order to create serialized material, you need to engage with people already doing something similar, ask questions on how they go about what they are doing, and get feedback. The unique presentation of this podcast was quite challenging and was nothing like a typical podcast as it required a reliable team working together in different aspects to make it work. Marilyn Monroe is a persona that Marilyn lived as Norma Jean in real life.
Working in the Broadcast media
Randall worked as a journalist and also wrote for CBS, and AOL, and talks about how the media affects consciousness. “If you’re going to watch Television news, first separate the facts from the story because a lot of the news today is opinion” In the world of censorship which we live in today, it is crucial not to completely rely on any social media platform like Facebook or YouTube especially concerning the media content involved in your business, rather it pays to put everything on your website. When you’re looking at something on the screen, remember that what you’re seeing can be manipulated to manipulate you to think something is happening when it’s not. If you want to find out what’s happening in your community go out, meet people, and interact.
The dynamic nature of technology
Randall explains that the early stages of technology like the vinyl player, earlier sets of mobile phones, and cameras are more durable and reliable than the newer ones. “Technology is great but if there’s no humanity in the technology, it’s nothing” The real world is a lot more interesting than the digital world. If you don’t spend a major part of your day connecting with friends and family in a real way, you’re missing something in life; social media has its use but don’t let it overtake your life.