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A Ph.D. in Podcasting: An Interview with Todd Cochrane - Part 2
Episode 15212th October 2022 • Audio Branding • Jodi Krangle
00:00:00 00:30:19

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“My goal from the very very beginning was some are going to make take their spouse or partner to dinner money some people are going to make car payment money some people may make house payment money and some people may make life-changing money if I can get podcasters to the point of making enough money that gives them enough incentive to say yes this is possible to go bigger and grow bigger and to have the resources to pay for an editor and some of those things so I think the average podcasters now challenge unless they're a niche show or they've gown a significant audience is how do I get that initial taste of some cash and, really, the answer's going to be programmatic." -- Todd Cochrane


This episode’s the second part of my interview with author, CEO, and pioneering podcaster Todd Cochrane as we discuss strategies for improving podcast sound, the keys to monetizing and building on a podcast brand, and the importance of audio branding when it comes to podcasting.


As always, if you have any questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes.  If you have questions for me, just visit where you’ll find all sorts of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter (on the webpage) will let you know when the new podcasts are available.


A Compelling Story

As the second half of our interview starts, Todd gives us his first piece of advice for improving podcast quality: "If you’re going to invest in anything, invest in a decent mic.” We discuss microphone options for different budgets, some of the other kinds of studio equipment he recommends, and a less technical, but no less important, suggestion on starting a podcast. “Have a compelling story,” Todd says. “Don’t go chasing topics: have something that you’re excited to talk about.” As he puts it, “lots of people are chasing categories now, and if you’re not in tune with that category, why would you do that?”


The Goal of the Show

When it comes to building a podcast, Todd has one driving question: "What is the goal of the show? Is the goal to have fun? Is the goal to have lead generation, is it to monetize?" We talk about different strategies of monetization, and he shares an account of one podcaster whose very precise niche turned out to be a gold mine. “If you’re a neurosurgeon,” he explains, “and you reach a thousand of the top neurosurgeons every episode, you can probably charge about $20,000 for that.” For most of us, however, Todd says the key is to build a wider audience: “You have to have a big audience for big money. Some people will fight me on this, but fundamentally, for most shows, that’s true.”


Let Your Voice Be Heard

As the episode comes to a close, we discuss audio branding and how it intersects with the world of podcasting, such as an early opening theme that proved too much for his listeners. “I was bombarded,” he recalls. “People said ‘I stopped, I couldn’t listen any further, that intro was horrible.’ It lasted one episode.” As he puts it, “you really have to find, you know, those elements” that work best for your particular audience. We discuss some of his current projects, and Todd offers one last piece of advice: "The main thing I want people to do is to start a podcast. That's the key: let your voice be heard."


Episode Summary

  • The best microphones and sound equipment for podcasting
  • Finding your own distinctive voice as a podcaster
  • Strategies for monetizing content and building a podcast brand
  • The synergy between audio branding and a successful podcast


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