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Changing The Minds Of Non-Podcast Listeners One IHNI At A Time
Episode 126th July 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

Podcasters have a lot of jobs.

Evo Terra:

One we don't often think about is being ambassadors for podcasting.

Evo Terra:

But it's an important job if we're to grow the entire podcasting pie.

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And it starts by having some IHNIs at the ready.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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Way back in the summer of 2018, I introduced my audience at the time, small

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that it was, to a concept called IHNI.

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No, not your belly button.

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IHNI is an acronym and the letters I, H, N, and I represent what I still think

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is the best way for you, the serious podcaster, to grow podcasting, and not

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just your podcast, but all of podcasting.

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Albeit slowly, one listener at a time, but still, new listeners who you have a lot

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more influence on than you probably know.

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So, first off, what, Evo, is an IHNI?

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Well, an IHNI can refer to either a podcast, the entire

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show, or just a podcast episode.

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Most of the time, it's an episode or a select number of episodes.

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Much less often, though it is a joy when it happens, it's an entire podcast

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where every single episode is an IHNI.

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Now, the letters in this acronym stand for I Had No Idea.

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Specifically, they stand for those words in the following sentence, "I had no idea

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that is what podcasts can sound like."

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A sentence uttered by a person who, until your intervention with that IHNI

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in hand, had decided they didn't care for podcasting or that podcasts simply were

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something they were not interested in.

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And who knows why.

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Perhaps they had a bad experience.

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I mean, that happens.

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4 million podcasts exist and Sturgeon's Law applies.

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Poor audio quality, jabbering hosts, uninspiring interviews,

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bad attempts at playing at radio.

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I mean, look, you have to admit that the unassisted podcast listening

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can be a lot like a carnival game.

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You're likely not going to get the big stuffed animal on your first try, if ever.

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And perhaps they've adopted preconceived notions about what podcasts are without

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actually listening for themselves.

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I mean, maybe they've got that annoying friend who just won't shut up about how

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much they love some celebrity host or a pundit, a host or a pundit that the other

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party finds markedly less interesting.

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And they're left thinking, well, that's what podcasting is all about.

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Or maybe this person is really off-base and is assuming that podcasts are

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something they have to pay for, or that podcasts are nothing more than

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videos or livestreams or something else that has nothing or just little

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to do with what podcasting is.

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All of those people, and more, think that podcasting is

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something that is not for them.

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They have the idea that podcasts are something to be avoided.

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But you and I, we know that they probably have no idea what podcasts can sound like.

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And so that's your job.

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Show them.

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No, don't tell them, show them what podcasts can sound like.

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You, after all, are a podcaster.

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Who better than you to be an excellent brand ambassador for all of podcasting?

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No, not just your podcast.

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In fact, perhaps not your podcast at all, but for all of podcasting.

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I know that sounds like a big job, but it's one that you, the

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serious podcaster, are up for.

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I know you are.

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So here's what I want you to do the next time you're with a friend or an

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acquaintance, or perhaps you're introduced to someone at an event, who has made

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the choice not to listen to podcasts.

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I want you to help guide them on their journey, rising above your

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own self-interests and looking at this as a larger opportunity to help

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someone develop the podcast listening habit, someone who currently has the

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idea that podcasts are not for them.

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I want you to recommend that they listen to an IHNI.

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If you can, I want you to help them find an IHNI on their

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phone, right there with you.

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Done correctly, this takes less than a minute.

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Done correctly, you'll have, hopefully, made someone say, "I had no idea

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podcasts could sound like that," which might encourage them to change

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their mind and at least consider becoming a regular podcast listener.

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Now, the trick, obviously, is to have the IHNIs at the ready all the time.

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Look, you're probably actively consuming lots of podcasts, way more

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than the average podcast listener.

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So it's important, as an ambassador of podcasting, for the entirety of

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podcasting to have this process down pat.

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Okay.

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It's a big job, but again, I think you're up for it.

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Now, finding these IHNIs is a three-part test.

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Think of a waterfall or a flow chart, if you will.

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Three simple questions you go through until you get to a yes.

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Question one, have you made any IHNI episodes?

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Not just good episodes.

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Not episodes that you really enjoyed making.

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Not even episodes that got a lot of downloads, and, almost certainly,

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not your most recent episode.

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No, I want you to now be very real and honest with yourself.

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Do you have an episode of your podcast that when someone who has already said

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they don't like podcasts, if they listen to it, they will say, "Wow, I had no idea

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that's what podcasts could sound like?"

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Are you sure that episode you are thinking about will knock them out of their socks?

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Now, if the answer is yes, then bully for you.

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You are the exception to the rule.

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Go into your podcast hosting service or your website hosting service,

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and make a redirect to that episode.

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Something like PodcastPontifications.com/IHNI.

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Something you can easily remember that you can tell someone to type

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into their phone and let them listen right there on your website.

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Now, you don't wanna send 'em to your home page and have them start searching around.

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You wanna make it simple for you to remember and for them to type.

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Now, if your answer to that question was no - and honestly, my answer is

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no - then proceed to question two.

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Question two is this, can you make an IHNI?

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If you can, well, I'll ignore my first reaction of then why

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haven't you done that until now?

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And I'll say great, make that IHNI episode.

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I'd suggest, however, shopping it around to some people in your life who aren't

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afraid to burst your bubble - by the way, I'm @EvoTerra on Twitter if you want an

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honest evaluation - just to make sure it really is an IHNI and then do that

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vanity URL trick so it's easy to remember.

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But if you can't, and, and I simply, can't.

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Not with Podcast Pontifications at least.

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I mean, if someone has decided they don't really care to listen to

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podcasts, how exactly is my content, you know, my monologues on the future

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of podcasting or ways to make podcasting better going to convince them?

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It's, it's not.

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Yeah, I put a lot of time and effort into making sure my episodes sound

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great and are valuable resources, but any podcast about podcasting isn't

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going to cut it for these people.

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So if you, like me, acknowledge that while you can make a great sounding

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episode, you cannot make an IHNI episode, then proceed to question number three.

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The third and final question is this, do you know of any IHNI episodes?

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Your answer there has to be yes.

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If it's a no, then you need to start listening to more podcasts until

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you find yourself an IHNI episode.

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And when you find that episode, save it.

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Now, I use Spotify for this.

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It's because I never listened to podcasts through Spotify.

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Although according to the Creators Report we just put out from Sounds Profitable,

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a surprising number of podcasters do.

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But almost everyone has Spotify on their phone.

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So I can ask them to pull up Spotify on their phone and then show them

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the shows or the episodes I've saved, either the entire podcast, like Twenty

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Thousand Hertz, or some excellent episodes of Love + Radio, saved right

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in my Your Episodes folder on my phone.

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That makes it super easy for them to search Spotify and find the name they

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see on my screen in the exact same app.

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It's, it's dead simple.

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And once they have it on their phone, if the situation's right, I'll have

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them listen right there because it's amazing to watch faces light up when

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they discover that yes, there are podcasts out there that are unlike

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what they thought podcasting was.

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And that's it.

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That's the way you become an excellent ambassador for new listeners, helping

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them say, "I had no idea that's what podcasts could sound like"

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by sharing your IHNIs with them.

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And with that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.