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Brent Hand – S2E2 New Media Lab with Rob Southgate
On this episode, Rob’s special guest is Brent Hand from the Hysteria 51 Podcast.
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00:00:00 This is a really difficult question. Oh, that's a great question. That's a good question. That is a great question. It's a really good question. I love this question. And I think this really is going to help me kind of meditate and grow on it. Want to hear the answers checkout season two of new media lab with Robert Southgate new episodes every Tuesday available on Spotify. I tunes. Google hod Cass and wherever you subscribe to your favorite podcasts. Welcome back to new media lab. I am rob Southgate your host. And I am so happy you've decided to join me on this journey last week's interview with Dave Jackson sparked a lot of questions I messages and emails about specific points that David made. I hope the answers I provided offered a little insight please keep writing in with DA's and questions. The Email here is Southgate small business at g mail dot com. And that's exactly what Kevin long did he wrote in asking about the value of getting on platforms other than I tunes? This started a conversation that resulted in a second show on this feed on Tuesday, we launched our first creators lab, we made it up on the spot basically because there was way more getting asked by Kevin than a couple of simple sentences on Facebook messenger, would've answered it's really cool. Kevin came on and asked a bunch of questions. He's had his show the Kevin long show for a while now. But like all of us.
00:01:38 Us. He still has a lot to learn each week will address concepts to build and strengthen his podcast. Plus, I'll answer the questions that came up for Kevin after listening to the latest episode of the show, it's such a cool project. And I am really excited about it. As we progress will track his downloads and other data to see if our experiment is having an effect. I encourage you to listen and try some of these concepts for your own shows. So this is a great time to give my social media information. So you can get in conversation with me too. You can find new media lab on Facebook by searching at new media lab show. You can follow me on Twitter at our Southgate or an Instagram at rob Southgate. Our networks website is Southgate media group dot com where you can find this as well. As over a hundred other podcasts, and blogs and videos. There's just so much there. Finally, follow our newest endeavor on Twitter at Indy podcast project and be sure to use the hashtag. Support indie podcasts when post in your own shows or sharing anything podcast related. Did you know that we have a patriot page for those of you that don't know patriot. As a way for you to support artists and content creators directly I've set one up for the new media lab to help offset the cost of doing this podcast. I don't see patriot as like a tip jar. It's a lot more than that in order to provide value to the new media lab, patrons I asked another question of each person, I interviewed that I'm not sharing on the free version of the show only supporters on patron will get those answers the question. How do you monetize?
00:03:19 Yeah. I know the big question that we all asking that. We get asked all the time the answers, I got back were incredible. You don't wanna miss out on these each week? I plan to post the answers to the question by the guest featured on the free show exclusively for supporters on patriot. I also plan to post unedited versions of some of the. The interviews occasionally as well. My suggestion. Pause this podcast, go to patriot dot com slash new media lab and become a patron right now. After you've done that come on back and listen to this episode. This week's guest is Brent hand from the hysteria. Fifty one podcast. It's a great show. That is absolutely killing it. I know Brent because he's a member of the Facebook groups, Chicago, podcasters unite and Chicago podcasters both of which I add men we met when we and his producer and wife. Lisa came to a podcast or meet up that we had put on since then Brent ni- run into each other constantly on the various podcast or groups that were members of Brenton is co host John Goforth are building a solid following. And have created a podcast. That is entertaining. As it is unique. I am honored that Brent offered. His wonderful insights to my thesis. And that he joined me for this interview. Why don't you? Describe your podcast. Yes. I am the co host of hysteria fifty one we've been doing it. We actually just had our two year anniversary in September. We are a comedy.
00:04:48 I show we talk about conspiracy theories and the paranormal and the strange and anything weird that we can think of we cover that. And you can find us anywhere with Bod catchers, just look up hysteria fifty one. We also have a Facebook page as everyone podcast hysteria nation is a Facebook group and hysteria fifty-one dot com. If in case you forget any of that stuff where easy to find. Okay. So so Brent win. Did you start podcasting? So I started podcasting. We started in late twenty fifteen my current show hysteria fifty one we started in September of twenty sixteen. I had two shows previously that didn't take off the show that it lasts the longest before this was one called Radyr fad. And we went about six months on it and hysteria fifty-one kind of took off. But so coming up on three years for for solid podcasting. And how many episodes are you posting in a month four we you wanna week we released a new episode every Monday excellent. And is that consistent is at year round. Yeah. Yeah. Every week. Yeah. Yeah. So so far we've never missed a week fingers crossed stays up. Are you? I'm gonna ask another question here and interpret this the way you want, right. Are you a celebrity or is anyone associated with your podcast a celebrity? I'm not even a household. Name of my own household now, I have not as liberty. You know, people at the podcast and CUNY my know me because I'm active, but no, I'm not a celebrity in any way, shape or form.
00:06:28 And and your partner is not either. No, no, not at all. Not at all. I wish I wish we would have because we we sure wouldn't of had to of fought and clawed. And Doug to get to where we are. But no, no, no, we are not. So that actually negates the next question, which is where you celebrity when you're starting s. No, I was not I was not do you feel like you're gaining celebrity at this point. We do you know what? So my wife, and I we always judge that as far as like, how many Facebook friends requests. So my wife is she helps produces show we actually had to make her a fake Facebook page because she got so many friend requests and stuff like that not a fake one. But we made her like page, so I guess the more downloads and the more publicity. We get we get a lot more people wanting to reach out and talk to us and things like that. But I I definitely wouldn't call it celebrity when you do show people wanna talk to you people want to interact people wanna get to know you because I think. I think that the difference between, you know, a lot of things in podcasting is people feel that they really get to know the person. And and because of that kind of leads into I want to know this person, I want to be friends, I want to interact with them. That's my own opinion.
00:07:43 I guess sure. Sure. Okay. Now, we're going to get into some of the meat here. Sure. Do you think that gaining audience today is the same as when you started this? We've been lucky in finding an audience it's very vocal, and they love to share us. And that's been one of our biggest things are audiences been big supporters. That's something we'd locked into. We've tried as I said, you know, I had ratified and we had a couple of shows before and we tried to reproduce that. And didn't have the best. And and in ways, I guess you could say it's easier because podcasting and podcast is so much easier. Find and are a much bigger piece of the cultural zeitgeist, I guess, you could say the flip side is there so many shows that's hard to gain attention attraction, because you're you know, you're in a sea of other shows. So it's kind of a double edged sword. But you know, you go out and buy yourself a new car right now. And now, they're putting podcast apps built into the stereos and stuff. So that's not a that's not a bad thing. I'm so it's definitely easier. At least you find podcasts. But it's still a lot of of them out there. So yeah, I know that that I was reading a thing recently that that most cars on the road or about twelve years old, which means pod catchers or not there, which is one of the problems as it becomes more prevalent in the automotive industry. It's going to make it easier. It's going to be trouble for mainstream radio.
00:09:12 I have a feeling which we've already seen trouble for satellite radio as well. Because they've got to change their game somewhat to to adapt to this. As far as getting that attention. So so now, we've got it. So it's easy to get in the hands of the listener. Okay. The pipeline. Is there? How do we get their attention? So that they know hysteria. Fifty one is there. So we have been. Grassroots have people say, you know, we we have been when we started. Let me let me preface this with with something when I started I went to I'm in Chicago. I went to second city, and they had a you wanna be a podcast. This is in two thousand fifteen that a class like it's so easy. All you. Gotta do is ask your friends and family there's hundreds of downloads in and of itself. So really we start our podcast. We asked her friends and family. They didn't listen they didn't give crap you know. And so, and so it's such you know, everyone's got their own opinion of it. But we started are one of the biggest things we've done in social media. We're on Reddit. We're on Facebook Twitter on Instagram, Snapchat, everywhere, and we just try to interact I try to interact every day. And our Facebook page has been our Facebook group has been one of the biggest things for people to be able to find us and talk about us and we've done contests and giveaways and just really trying to get the few people that we get in the beginning to tell.
00:10:42 And they tell to friends, and they tell to friends, and that's that's a big thing where we tried to make sure that we were interacting with those people as much as possible kind of goes back to what I was saying about people wanna know, you they want to get to feel like they have, you know, interaction, and we give them that. And I that's been a big thing for us. At least on our show is the the back and forth interaction and asking ask people to do it. We asked them all the time give us review tell a friend do this and that and they do it. And that's been helpful for us. The other thing that I know John, and I did that that a lot of people John John Goforth by co host a lot of people have maybe don't do or don't have the means to do enough as we've traveled to a lot of different podcast movement. We went to podcast move in. And and. Different promotions. We went on podcast cruise twenty seventeen inches meaning other shows and trying to talk to other hosts and people in the industry and get our name out there. So that they go. Hey, didn't we talk to some guys from hysteria fifty one we're wanting to do it an article, let's let's talk to them and we've gotten written up in some things because of that. And that's been a big help for us.
00:11:56 What are the three key things that you've done to grow your audience? I think making it seem and making this true. Not just seem that they're missing out if they are participating in social media kind of like I talked about there's so much more there as far as being able to talk to one another. And so but not just making seem like I said making a true. So that you know, we're doing extra things, and we always talk about the end of our episodes. They we're going to be talking about this talking about that on our our Facebook group or this and that the other, and I think that helps us out a lot you know, is making it worthwhile for them to want to interact outside of just the show. The other consistency. Once you have an out an online community don't retreat, and it's not like it's mission accomplished. You're just you're there to your fans. Like, you said, we're not celebrities, but to them you are in a way because they wanna talk to you. And that gives them a sense of interaction and people love interaction. I think that's one of the biggest things and make sure I guess third one. This is kind of silly. But it's been in the the news lately. Make sure your followers are real don't buy followers. Don't buy listens and stuff because that's just an genius. And then you can see these people that you know, when they have a group, and they have, you know, a few thousand dollars, and they post something they get three likes you like, you know. And I think that people in the industry that it reached out and looking at other shows notice those things and go.
00:13:28 Yeah. That doesn't that doesn't jive to me. And I think other people do that to our notice it do you pay attention to things like listen tie. Time general download numbers like fluctuation. There is there as far as the data goes stuff. Like that. Is that stuff that you guys pay attention to your you just keep going? We just wanna go up there very much. So we always do we release on on a Monday and on Thursday, we pull numbers I know that's a whole week. But we just see that gives you know, you've had four days we always look at those numbers and see. Outside of listen time. But you know, how many gallons we have what we're at for thirty days for the week. You know all-time listens. And then the other thing is on. I have we have. And we haven't as far as checked listen time as far as how many people kind of fluctuates. That's not something that we would on our I keep a spreadsheet. So on every Thursday. I I keep track of all the numbers and we've done that since we started. And listen time isn't as much from the we go back and look at because I don't wanna be seen people. Listen to two minutes of the show and don't so we are losing. But the last time we were like seventy eight percent of the show. So that's pretty good. I think the, you know, if you're getting at least three quarters of the show, you're you know, you're getting through.
00:14:48 What are three key social media practices to build an audience? So number one is just asking the people to be part of the social media. I know that sounds silly. But I know so many people, and I talked I, you know, I'm in groups with other broadcasts, and they go well and didn't want to inundate people. I don't wanna make them feel weird. It's not making them feel weird. You're asking your audience to grow help them. Do it. You know, ask them to be a part of it. And give them a reason why you know. So, you know, join our X Y group because we're gonna be talking about this that or the other. The second one would be I, you know, make it worth while outside stuff. We've done a lot. I went back and forth in this with a lot of people. But we've done giveaways, just stickers shirts and stuff. We do it all the time. Coloring contests for Halloween. You know, silly things like that people go crazy about because they really like it and is interacting with them. And the other thing that I do because I love podcasting. And I think it helps us is I'm on a lot of other pages. And I don't talk about hysteria fifty one, but I go to other people's pages than I interact, and I tried to to help them and talk and things like that. And I think that that makes them go.
00:16:03 Hey, you know, this this Brenes Mystere fifty one you should check them out. I'm not doing it because of that. But I think it does come through, you know, and I think just being active in the community, not just your own community grows your community. Do you have a social media strategy that you work with or is there is it just kind of like, hey, here the places we're gonna put stuff, and we wanna make sure we post every day. So you don't simple like that. Or do you go Monday Tuesday Thursday? We post polls Wednesdays we do when we started out. We very much had a, you know. Okay. So. A new episode comes out on Monday than we do. A we make her own me mon-, Tuesday and Bubba blonde Wednesday. And and we did that. But now since I can spend so much more time on there. I think it comes off more organic when I'm just on there every day, and I'm adding to it, and it probably in the back of my head and not realizing it, but I'm posting similar things every week. But it's not done on purpose. We very much did in the beginning. I don't think that's a bad thing. Because it gets you used to using your social media because a lot of people have a page, and there's nothing on there. I was just recently on on another shows page, and I said, hey, when you post a show how about you posted a link here. So people can listen to it. They said that's a great idea. It's crazy to think that you gotta do that. But you gotta do that for some people, you know. And and and there's nothing wrong. You don't know when you start out you might not know what you're supposed to do. So I think that having a strategy in the beginning. He should always have a strategy. The having any strategy in the begin.
00:17:37 Inning of you know, I should post this that and the other we'll help you Intel becomes habit. You know, and the ones that's your habit than this your go to and this is I know I'm going to do this every day now with your social media presence right now, you mentioned you're on red at you're on Facebook, can you lay out basically? So what platforms what is getting original content? So the reason I ask that is some people use Instagram, they put it behind the scenes picture, and they let to everything else. I know read at your starting conversation. I know your Facebook group because I'm a member of of of your group. You're putting original things. How is that broken down kind of? And what firms are you going across? So the biggest one that we probably neglect is our regular Facebook page because we post our stuff to their when I post on Instagram, I post original, photos, Instagram. I let them a lot of times. Go to our Facebook page. So I'm definitely on Instagram on read at we're just usually more for we post, our episodes. If we get in an article or a new source, we we post things like that on their hysteria nation, which is our Facebook group is definitely the one that we do the most original content. That's you know, outside of just are episode and stuff. That's where if I'm finding articles and things I I'm posting it there more than anywhere else. Because that's where we have. You know, a lot of a lot of participation.
00:18:58 So I would say Instagram and our Facebook group get the most original content, and we try to post photos on Instagram that we don't post on don't always share on Facebook our Facebook page and definitely not on our discussion group just so that they have a reason to want to go there. What about Twitter to use that at all we are on Twitter? And I am I I'm very active as far as reach weedy and commenting and stuff like that. We don't get we have a few thousand followers. I don't get a ton of traction on there. And I talked to a lot of other shows, and that's their go to maybe it's my age. I don't know. I think. Just pop stuff on. Yeah. I do. I pop exactly I pops up on there. And I try to do it. You know, a couple of times a day or to be active stuff like that. But we don't get the interaction that that we get on Facebook that a lot of people say they love, and they get tons of interaction on there. It's escaped us at least so far. But yes, I am on there. And we do use it. Do you do any video elements to what you do? So we used to and we posted to YouTube quite a bit just, you know, we we would always just your show. Well, so we did both just the show every every week on the show we would use. We would we would convert it into a just a video, then we did, you know on boxing, videos, and behind the scene tours and things like that. And we got decent numbers. But also got a lot of trolls. You know, we got a lot of people that have nothing, you know, to do with the show we're talking and now since we've went onto the new network that we've joined.
00:20:43 We had to take down our our whole channel, you know, everything that we had on there that wasn't just original behind the scenes, and we took everything down at this moment. What is the secret of your podcast success? I would say probably one of the best things is John. And I have known each other for thirty plus years, you know, we've been friends for a long time. And we're doing something that we both like we're not we always like to say that we're skept skeptically optimistic about the things we talked about. But we also love what we're talking about. We have a lot of fun with it. And so because we know each other for thirty plus years, we've got a pretty good back and forth. And I think that comes out in the show because we've been friends for so long and be able to rely on another and there were the others going, especially in the show, that's mostly improvised. We have an outline we know we're going to talk about, but we make sure that we know the topic. And we just see kind of where it leads us. That's a huge key to us and a lot of. People always say, you know, or one of the things I like hearing from people when they tell us is like, oh, you know, you guys you can see you guys really know each other and you're very comfortable talking to one another. And I think that that comes through and helps helps quite a bit. But that's not something that's easily. You know, not everyone's going to know their hosts for you know, for that long. And that's not some hasta take that long. We're just lucky in that. And then aspect in your opinion. What's the next big thing? And podcasting. I think that the big thing that's coming outside of just what's in our control is better tech from better apps. You know, better you I and recommendations for more advanced metrics more advertising opportunities. It's time for them to shoot a grow up, and it is slowly. But I think that's the next big thing. As far as I don't know. Exactly, what that looks like, you know, but you know, better metric, so we can breakdown shows, you know, I wish that all hosting companies use the same.
00:22:46 What is it called them metrics or whatever, you know, not metrics, but they use the same form ZOA. Download with this host counts as a download with that. Right. The same compliance, and they don't, but hopefully that we can get that in the future. Apps. You know, there's no great every app that's out. There has a fault. I tunes is really fallen behind. And you know, we're we're having issues with iheartradio. Not not always updating a Google their new app has been not updating us, you know, things like that and the search function and a lot of them is very much lacking. So I think and if someone could come out with an fantastic app, I think it would really help out. And the other thing is finding advertising doesn't, you know require the show to have, you know, fifty thousand dollars a month one hundred thousand dollars a month that the that they can work in that. If that means, you know, more shows if you want that not ever show wants advertising, but if you want that ability outside of like advertise cast or something like that. I think that's something that's gonna come in the future. And how about some shows be able to do it? There shows longer. You know, part is, you know, not getting burnout because the money dries up, you know, in your in your hobby pocket stuff like that. I told you brand had a lot of great ideas. I encourage you all to subscribe to hysteria. Fifty one to follow him across social media. There's a lot more to this interview. But like I stood before I'm only sharing the answers to the questions for my thesis on this show as with each of these interviews, I try to leave with three key takeaways. The three that stood out to me from Brant, our number one interact on social media, everyday to add real value to the content you offer outside of the show and three consistency.
00:24:44 Yeah. We hear that constantly. Don't wait. I love this quote. He said don't retreat once you're there. So what are your takeaways? What it Brent say that affected your business and content creation going forward? Share your thoughts on the Facebook thread for this episode. I would love to read your insights, you can find Brent and his website hysteria. Fifty one dot. Dot com. Make sure to follow hysteria fifty one on Facebook and join their Facebook group hysteria nation, it's a blast. Find his show on your favorite podcast app. Be iheart radio. I tunes Google podcast, Stitcher. Tune in radio be sure to subscribe and give his show a great review while you're at it. Please subscribe to new media lab with Robert Southgate wherever you listen to your podcast. You can Email the show at Southgate small business at gmaiLcom. New media lab is on Facebook. Simply search for new media lab xo our networks website is Southgate media group dot com where you can find this as well as over a hundred other podcasts, plus blogs, videos information about our live events are more and just so much more. If you wanna follow me, personally, I'm on Twitter at our Southgate or on Instagram at rob Southgate, support this show and get awesome extra content by. I becoming a patron go to patriot dot com slash new media lab and choose your tier please rate and review this show on whatever service. You subscribe to podcasts on it really helps others find the show and tells me if you like what I'm doing here, and please share the show on all your social media. Tell your friends tell your family tell your enemies, we'll take care of them too. You can find new media lab on June's, Google podcasts Stitcher Spotify tune in radio and really hopefully anywhere else that distributes podcasts. If you can't find us, let me know. And I'll rectify that situation all this plus more links will be in the show notes and on our website. So don't worry if he didn't have a pen to write this all down. Thank you again to Brent hand for helping me on my thesis and for being such an incredible guest. That's it for this week's show everyone. The next episode of creators lab will drop on Tuesday. And we'll be back with our next guest.
00:27:07 On new media lab on Thursday until then get out there and create something.