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What Podcasters Can Learn From Donald Trump

October 27th, 2015

You can be a hero, or you can be a villain, but don’t ever be forgettable.

Quick! Name your favorite podcaster or vlogger! Got one? Oh. Got one now? Okay, good. Now, what led you to pick that person?

Most likely, what made them stand out from the crowd was their unique combination of charisma and character, which they incorporate into their work. This personality is an intrinsic part of their presentation, and it’s called “voice”. It’s the way your past experience colors your opinion on things.

Voice isn’t about having something to say (though that is vital), but how you say it. Content is the substance, and voice is the style. When it comes to gaining an audience for your blog, vlog, or podcast, how you say things can be just as important as having something to say in the first place. Some may even consider it to be more important. What? Prioritizing style over substance? I assume I have an example?

Whether you despise, or simply dislike, Donald Trump, it’s almost certain is that you have an opinion about him. I can’t think of any life form on this planet that has tried harder to establish themselves as a brand. (Except maybe Labradoodles. Those guys have a great marketing department.)

For better or worse, a large part of Donald Trump’s media presence has been accomplished by crafting an attitude, a personae, that’s unique enough in its own right to be recognized, predicted, even parodied. Think of the content that you produce. Are you unique enough that, if you were parodied, the audience would know who’s being referred to?

Think about it. Donald Trump has a look. (I can call it that.) He has a specific vocabulary, attitude, even catch phrase. (I can call it that.) He has a personality. 

He has developed such a strong voice that his statements can easily be picked out of a crowd. Whether those statements contain actual content or not, is another matter. What’s pertinent to this discussion is that the way he communicates his content get people’s attention. 

When it comes to using voice to gain an audience, you can be a hero, or you can be a villain, but don’t ever be forgettable.

This doesn’t mean to go out and create a fictional character to mask yourself with. There’s a difference between having character and putting on a character. Many content creators simply “amplify” their own personality and characteristics, in order to ramp up their energy level within their video and audio productions. To find your voice, stay true to yourself. Because a two-dimensional character may shine brightly for a while, but will soon burn out just as quickly.

And being a flash in the pan is counterproductive to developing a voice, because doing so takes time. It’s not something you invent, but an identity based on the filter of your own experiences that you foster. Think of it like a character who develops over several seasons of a television show. They may start out flat, but over time they (hopefully) evolve and grow. 

So, don’t just say “I’m going to be this other person on camera or behind the mic”. It won’t be genuine. Even when amplifying your personality, always stay true to who you are. Because the voice of a personality that’s genuine will be stronger, more relatable, and have greater longevity. And if you’re creating content, it’s always good to plan for the long haul.

Thanks to our sponsor: PodPledge, the crowdfunding website for content creators. Whether you’re developing a one-time feature, or producing multiple seasons of a blog, vlog, podcast, YouTube channel, or website that tracks continuity errors on breakfast cereal boxes (On the September ‘98 Fruit Loops box, the color schema on Toucan Sam’s signature bill was shifted, reversing his trademark strips. Heh-heh. I hope somebody got fired for that blunder!); PodPledge helps you crowdfund it by allowing your backers to support you with either one-time or subscription donations, automatically continuing from this season to the next, powering your production for years to come. 

For more information about putting PodPledge’s crowdfunding to work for the media that you make, get started on their website today, because receiving support from your fans is a great way to Stay Inspired.

The official blog from the crowdfunding site designed specifically for media makers.

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