AskMeAnything: André Peschke from the The Pod

We are excited to host our first AMA with an awesome first guest: André Peschke (former Chief Editor for Video at GameStar) from the successful gaming Podcast The Pod!

The Pod is the first gaming magazine for your ears! Tests, reports, interviews with experts and the ocassional look at vintage games - the team around Andre has created a podcast that can take an imense ammount of pride in its transparency, integrity and independence - and their community loves it!

He is someone that doesn’t shy away from a challenge and he is curious to find out what the Indepdent Media Community wants to know!

Ask your questions until the 9th of July and André will take the time next thursday to answer as many questions as his busy schedule allows!

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Hey André!

As a gaming podcast, do you often have guests on your show?

If yes: How do you usually approach guests and how do you choose guests if they approach you?

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Hey Andre,

I’d like to ask how do you manage both a Patreon and your Steady account, and are your offerings on them the same?

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Hey André,

I work at Steady and we’re seeing lots of people currently starting their own podcast. You have been doing it for years now, and also have lots of experience as a journalist, so I was wondering what your best piece of advice would be for someone just starting out?

Thanks for doing the first ever AMA in our Community btw! Means a lot to have you on board! :slight_smile:

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Hi André,

Huge “Auf ein Bier” fan here! One of the first podcasts I actually ever listened to on a regular basis – keep up the good work!

My questions: Did your audience consistently grow or did you notice spikes in new listeners and members after certain episodes? And is there sth like an average time or amount of episodes it usually takes a listener of yours until they become a member of yours?

Cheers! :fist:

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Hey there André,

thanks for doing this AMA! :blush:

When was the point where you realized you might need to start something like Steady for your podcast?

And do you use things like sponsoring by specific (gaming) companies or advertising on the side as well?

Thanks a lot for answering.

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Hi Andre,

I’m a Membership Consultant at Steady and in my role, I talk to podcasters every day. Many of them are at different stages of their journey and have so many questions. I am going to post below some of the most common ones I’ve heard and tried to answer. Let’s start with this one:

How does one go about building an active audience and community that consistently engages with your content / episodes? How did The Pod go about it?

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Is there a way to integrate user generated content in your episodes? What are the best ways you discovered to generate this content? How do your members contribute to your work? Have you experienced that this increases engagement?

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Hello Andre.

My Steady page is about dealing with violence. I want to show people how they can detect early signals for violence so my texts, audio and video files are about deescalation, selfdefense, anti mobbing and background knowledge. I‘m still building it but I think its important to know more about violence BEFORE bad things happen. Staying healthy and safe is priceless.

My goal is to create more memberships and hopefully do this fulltime some day. Would be awesome to get some practical tips from you how I can create more memberships.

Thanks a lot.

Best, Volker

This is my page on Steady:

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It is extremely hard to grow your audience on social media with all the algorithms doing their own bit. What are some tangible tips that have helped you grow your social media numbers?

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Is it really worth it to have a newsletter list as a podcaster when most of my content is in the audio format? How did you go about building one?

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Hi there,

you have worked for video game magazines and I have spent a lot of time in the 1990s reading Power Play and the likes. Back then, computer games were a niche compared to their economic and cultural impact today. Do you think with this growing relevance your work (and the expectations toward your work) changed? How?

All the best
Gabriel

Hi Andre!

In March, I had the pleasure to do an interview with you. Back then, you mentioned that especially in the beginning you had a lot of guests and were able to be guests on other podcasts yourselves. And that this has been very helpful for building a community.

I imagine this was easier for you than it might be for others who are not so well-known, already. Do you have any advice on how to achieve that as a “newbie”: find good guests and get invited? :slight_smile:

Cheers!
Manuel

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Did you ever get featured on one of the big platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox etc.)? How did you manage to do that?

Quite often. Many of them are industry-contacts we’ve gotten to know during our careers - so that’s an easy in. With all the others here’s my best recommendations:

  • Be professional. Even if your industry is used to being informal don’t write emails too casual on first contact.
  • Supply information as to what you do and your project. Don’t expect your guests to start google-searches on their own to find out what kind of program they’re supposed to appear on.
  • Give your guest a concise description of the topic and why you chose them.
  • Do a prep-call to see if your guest is a good fit in terms of expertise and if they can articualte their ideas well.
  • If your guest turns out to not be a good fit be honest but courteous.
  • If you need a guest on short notice: Call them instead of writing emails.
  • Remember that these are people you’re asking to spent some of their limited time to appear on your show free of charge. Some of them might be highly qualified experts who have spent years to acquire their knowledge. In short: You’re asking people to do you a favor. Treat them accordingly and invest time and thought in your email and the prep for the episode they are supposed to appear in. For example: Send them briefing-emails with more concrete info on your line of questioning and the span of topics you want to adress so they can prepare accordingly. It will make your podcast better.
  • Once you’ve found a good guest and if you’ve treated him/her right you may ask them back for return visits.
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Access to our content is managed through our website using both Steady/Patreon-APIs. It’s proprietary software we developed ourselves based on Worpress + Membership2 (PlugIn) for rights-management. So they’re not our primary content-distribution-platforms but just payment-providers in essence. Offers are mostly the same except for Patreon adding VAT while Steady includes it in accordance to the laws in Germany.

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Start free. Don’t ask for money right out of the gate. Find a community and see if your idea is viable.
Once you think your idea is viable: Commitment & Focus. Don’t expect your backers to make it risk-free for you. If you want this to be your job, make it your job. Focus on the niche you’ve identified and don’t think growth will come by just adding more and more new topics or forms of media. For example: We’ve stuck to podcasts almost 100% although in theory we could do video and people were asking for that. But our idea was to create an audio-magazine for computergames-enthusiasts and our focus was on that all the way.

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Hello Andre.

Thanks for you answer.
I know that my spectrum is broad but so is violence, too.

You said that I should ask more specific questions. Ok :slight_smile:

How can I introduce my Steady site to more people? Is it a good idea to over something like member gains new member and gets a month for free or something like that?

Thanks again for your time.

Best, Volker

I guess this can be effective but…not sure if this is even a feature Steady offers at the moment?

In any case IMO you’re way too small to be thinking about these kinds of aquisition strategies right now. This early your priority is reach / discovery. If you can’t solve this, the % of people who will actually aquire a new member for you is too low so with very few members that strategy will not gain any traction (unless your offer is pyramid-scheme-levels of enticing^^).

IMO what you need are touchpoints where people can discover your offer: Free samples. Your own website. Youtube-Videos of you demonstrating your know-how for example, same on facebook etc. Offer yourself as an interview to magazines who are reaching the right audience (more on that below). Ask other podcasts if they will have you as a guest.

Also: I get that self-defense / deescalation touches on a lot of topics. But I’d focus more on a) what you know most of and b) where the market is least saturated. My guess would be: There’s a lot of self-defense instructions around, not as many de-escalation (because that’s not as sexy as punching people^^). BUT: De-escaltion ist more pro-social. You can use that as your unique selling point: “Everybody wants to teach you how to win a fight - I will teach you how you will never HAVE to fight in the first place” - like this. And then - because it’s more pro-social - there’s a broad spectrum of the population that could be interested in this professionally (schools, clubs, parents etc). This is just an example - you know best where your expertise will shine and so on. I’m just saying this to illustrate how you can think about narrowing your focus and as a result of that you can then identify how to better pitch your knowledge to an audience and better identify the people who would benefit from that knowledge. Also: If your spectrum is too broad I personally will not believe you that you are an expert in Psychology, Sociology, Self-Defense and whatnot. Expertise means specialization. There is for example a huge part of games that I will not talk about myself because I am lacking the expertise.

So, in short:

  • Get more easily accessible and free content out there so peole can check out what you do.
  • Find places where this stuff can be discovered like Youtube, Facebook and so on.
  • Identify your strengths and then think about who would want to learn from you. Then think about how you can reach these people. Using my example above: Ask schools if they want you to do an anti-bullying-seminar where you will teach children how NOT to fight - but to talk, to de-escalate, to inform the right adults and so on.
  • You will have to build your audience over time. Meaning months and years. For example: It took us about 18 months to grow to a relevant size and we were already highly established in our field with 20 years of experience and a lot of visibility for years and years beforehand.
  • Your only alternative that you can control (unless you have contacts with huge platforms) is advertising. But unless you know who your audience is there is no sense in advertising.
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Hi André,

Me and my cohost are running a podcast for 7 months now. We are at over 1100 followers on Spotify alone and I’m curious how you would rate that growth. It feels like we are growing very slow with about 6 new followers a day currently. That equals to nearly 800 listeners a week. It’s hard to get a perspective because you usually don’t see the numbers of other podcasts. I am awar that we can be Lucky that we found listener’s at all in times of what feels like 200 new podcasts every day. We also “struggle” To draw attention to our social media canals and steady. It feels like the majority of listeners don’t care and just want to listen to the podcast, although we do put an effort in engaging with the fans and answer every fan mail. Is it normal that just a small percentage wants to engage with you? And what would your plan of attack be for further growth with a small base like ours? Keep pumping out content and business as usual? Sorry that its more than one question!

-Patrick