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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Lauren Passell: Podcast Marketing Therapy

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Lauren Passell is the owner of Tink Media. Her experience in Public Relations . gives her a unique perspective. But simply put, podcasting is public relations. Everything from getting the guest, preparing the show, and marketing and promoting the show is what a great PR firm executes; all in the name of messaging and creating audience awareness. Lauren along with Arielle Nissenblatt, embarked on podcasting's ultimate PR campaign with last April with the "Adopt-a-Listener" podcast initiative to recruit more people to connect with podcasts.

I was speaking with lauren about podcast marketing – it felt very therapeutic hear someone with an equal disdain for wasting money on social media ad spending and the need to upgrade our podcast artwork.

Lauren offers free podcast marketing suggestions in her newsletters that you can find here:


If you want to just skip over the show and grab some free marketing tips, here ya go! Lauren shared out 100 podcast marketing tips in her Podcast Marketing Magic newsletter last year. If you get value from these tips - send Lauren a thank you.

And I made mention of "Adopt-a-Listener" which took place last April. Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable interviewed Lauren and Arielle Nissenblatt - listen to the campaign in deeper detail here. (The Sound Off Media Company is a sponsor of Sounds Profitable)

Lauren and I both had a chuckle about the use of microphones in artwork. While there are a few on our network that have them, there was one I didn't dare change, Plus the podcast host said he had shirts made this logo. Paul Bonacquisti is owner and winemaker of Bonacquisti Wine Company, Denver’s Urban Winery, located in the Sunnyside neighborhood on the Northside. If you're into wine and in the Denver area... perhaps for Podcast Movement, check out his urban winery. Or at the very least, his podcast.

Lauren is going to be speaking at Podcast Movement in a session titled Podcast Marketing Maintenance.

There are hundreds of things you can do to market your podcast. It can feel overwhelming. I will go over the three things that are low-lift actions podcasters can take to keep their numbers going up:

1. Pitching to newsletters

2. Setting up ad swaps

3. Applying to apps

This is for people who have an ongoing show and want useful takeaways for things they can schedule to do on a regular basis. Will include what they are, why they're important, and how to set up a simple system to get them done.



Tara Sands (Voiceover) 0:02

The Sound Off Podcast. The show about, podcast and broadcast starts now.

Matt Cundill 0:13

This week I'm speaking with Lauren Passell from Tink media. Lauren is one of the sharper podcast marketing minds. And her experience in PR gives her a unique perspective because let's face it, every podcaster is thinking about marketing, promotion, networking, social media, all in the name of growing your audience. Now before you go any further connect with two of the newsletters she works on including Podcast Marketing Magic and Podcast the Newsletter which are both on Substack. You can find those in the show notes of this episode. Last April, she created the Adopt A Listener podcast initiative to recruit more people to connect with podcasts. That, by the way, yielded some pretty interesting results. By the way, the longer you listen to this episode, the more it feels like podcast therapy. By the way, if you're headed to Denver for Podcast Movement later this month, Lauren is going to be talking about podcast marketing maintenance, Tuesday, August 22 at 11:15. Lauren Passell joins me from New York City. Lauren, what was your first exciting experience with audio?

Lauren Passell 1:19

Oh, well, I grew up listening, I guess music. My parents were big music people. And this was like, in the early 90s, my dad had a 300 CD, like, you could put two machines. One, you could put 300 CDs in them and one, you could put 200 CDs, and um, and he somehow figured out how to connect them. So you could shuffle between all 500 CDs. And so we would have it on in our house 100% of the time. Music, I think was first, but I also remember, I had one of those like little Fisher Price, like little kid boom boxes that would read me stories, all the Disney stories and I feel like that was like the first podcast that I listened to. It would have like a chime and you would turn the page and then I really fell in love of podcasts when I was on crutches in New York City and I needed something to listen to while I was you know, walking around. So that's my history with audio I guess.

Matt Cundill 2:21

You started Tink media back in 2018. Why did you start it?

Lauren Passell 2:25

I couldn't get a job. I had, you know, worked in book publishing for a long time and I left there to go work and podcasting and I got fired and I was in a really hard place like the hardest place I've ever been and back in the book publishing, I had always loved podcasts. I wasn't in PR, or marketing, but the PR team would always come up to me and say, can you get some of our authors on podcasts, like, can you get David Sedaris on some podcasts? I was always like, happy to do it because I was like, this is what I dream about. I love I love this. I'll never forget the first time I emailed I emailed on a sale, and I'm pitching David Sedaris and she responded to me she's like a major celebrity. Like I couldn't even believe it, you know, and I was like, oh, I can do this. This is real. So I was doing that at the book publishing house, I left there went to go work for a podcast company got fired and thought, I think PR people aren't great at pitching to podcasts. So originally, it was just getting authors on podcasts to promote their books, the more and more I started talking to podcasters. They were like, we need help with this too. Can you do this for me? So the whole company has just evolved from people asking me if I can do something and trying to figure out how to do it.

Matt Cundill 3:40

I mean, you clearly saw that podcasters were struggling with their marketing to start this.

Lauren Passell 3:44

Yeah I mean, basically, I think a lot has changed, but when I started, I feel like it was very normal for people not to have a single thought in marketing, not have put a single thought into marketing, sometimes coming to us after they launched and put out the entire show. I'm starting to notice that people come to me earlier and earlier, which is a really good sign.

Matt Cundill 4:10

You were doing a lot of rescue projects when you started, but now people are coming to you for the full launch.

Lauren Passell 4:14


Matt Cundill 4:15

So what's one of the biggest mistakes you see that most podcasters make when it comes to marketing their podcast? What's the one thing that you can look at and go, yep, I see that every day.

Lauren Passell 4:26

Spending money on social media.

Matt Cundill 4:28

Oh, yeah.

Lauren Passell 4:29

Or just there's so many things tied to social media. Social media doesn't grow podcasts. It's great for the audience you have. So if I could do one solid thing, I would say take most of the time you're spending on social media and put it towards figuring out how to work with people. Other podcasters partnerships is what works. I do a lot of consulting and I say if this meeting was five minutes long, I would say set up a promo swap on every single one of your episodes. Goodbye. And keep on doing it, and you'll grow. That is there's a lot of uncertainty. There are a lot of things I cannot promise, but I am 99% sure, you will see good organic growth if you set up a promo swap on every single episode.

Matt Cundill 5:13

Pomo swaps. It sounds just so simple and rudimentary, but yet you did a whole hour at Podcast Movement about promo swaps and how valuable they are and I think a lot of people are like, they wonder what they are or how they should be doing them. So let's reel it back just a touch and say, what are promo swaps?

Lauren Passell 5:32

I can talk about this forever, thank you very much. A promo swap if you listen to podcasts, I know you've heard them all the time. It's when you hear a podcaster say, hey, if you like this show, you're gonna like this other show. The reason they work is because first of all, the reason social media doesn't always work is because you're targeting a lot of non podcast listeners, it's very hard to turn a non podcast listener into a podcast listener, I try all the time. So it's better go for the low hanging fruit, find the people that are already listening and when you're targeting people who are listening to a podcast, you found a podcast listener. And another reason social media marketing doesn't work is because people don't like to click off social media in general. But these promo swaps, you're targeting people listening, they're already there, they have their devices so this is why they work. And also it's a recommendation from someone they trust. You know, if I'm listening to your podcast, I trust you, I'm here, I'm invested in what you have to say. So if you tell me to listen to something, I'm going to listen to it. That is why they work so well. And if you want to set one up, I mean, basically, when I get a client and I want to set up some promo swaps, I pour myself a glass of wine, I sit back and relax, I open up spreadsheets. And I make a list of this is going to sound cheesy, my clients, potential podcast friends. I think of these as friendships that overlap audience and there's a lot of ways to figure out who your overlap audiences with, but it's podcasts where your audience is the goal is to borrow audiences from each other when you're working together in these promo swaps situation. So find those podcasts, email them, swap some copy maybe so that you can each do a host read ad on each other shows, I think host read works more, but sometimes people switch digital files. Usually they're 30 seconds. sometimes they're dynamically inserted, sometimes they're not. It doesn't matter. I think you can get really, really creative. I feel like I love when people break the rules about when it comes to promo swaps.

Matt Cundill 7:27

Yeah so that's a good recommendation that I learned last year and that's have the host read the copy for the other podcast. So essentially becomes a host read ad for another podcast to encourage them to listen to it. And normally I'm into just swapping hey, you send me your promo, I'll send you my promo. Which Yes, it's the lazier way, but you made a really good point that it's just more effective to have the host read the ad.

Lauren Passell 7:54

Yeah, and if you want send them bullet points, because they'll read it in their own words and, you know, if you're doing multiples, you don't want them all to sound the same. And then when you send those bullet points, maybe pick out an episode of your podcast that you know that that other audience specifically will like so that you make it a little bit more specific for those people.

Matt Cundill 8:15

Sometimes see podcasters with the opportunity to use dynamic audio insertion, and they haven't even considered the show promo like that promo swap. It's kind of like a marketing opportunity that's in plain sight. I'm going to share my favorite tip for finding other people to do promo swaps and that's using a website called Rephonic and I'll put that in the show notes, but what's something that you would recommend for people to connect with other podcasters of a similar genre in order to do a promo swap?

Lauren Passell 8:46

Well, I feel like I should get tattooed on my arm because I talk about it so much. I love that chart. It's such a good resource. I'm so glad you are telling people to use it. One of the first things I do is search for the show or a comp in Apple podcasts and scroll to the bottom and it says you might also like, that's one way. You can do that and other apps as well. I use Listen Notes. You know sites likeListen Notes and Podchaser all offer lists of similar shows when you search this is how I start going down rabbit holes. I make this big list of my podcast friends, I'm going Rephonic, I'm going on Listen Notes, I'm going on Podchaser. I use Player FM. I will type in something very specific like best tomato gardening podcasts Player FM, I will Google that. There are very specific lists on there and the thing I like about player FM is they will tell you when the last episode was published right up front on the page so you can know if you should be wasting your time with it. If it hasn't had an episode in five years, you'll know right away. The other thing is, you know, I want people to do these promo swaps together so much I built a database on my website, actually, my team built the database, I cannot take credit for it. But anyway, if you go in, you can put in your show everyone should do it, add a few tags, a little bit of information about the size, and search for shows that are similar to yours and then email them and talk about doing a cross promo. What's good about this is sometimes when I email someone about a promo swap, I say, would you like to do a promo swap with me? And they say, that's interesting, shall we Zoom about it? And I'm like, aha, you have no idea what a promo swap is. Then I ended up doing this whole lesson about promo swaps. People in the database on Tink I'll know what one is, they've opted in already. You just emailed them, they're down. So you don't have to explain anything.

Matt Cundill 10:43

I want to talk a little bit about writing ad copy because you've written it for your work. I've written it through radio, I've written a lot of promos. But you gave a great suggestion about reading a bullet points for somebody else to read about your show, but what about when it comes to writing for your own show? Let's say had to write a mid roll ad for a client, let's say you had to write an ad about your show, what are some tips that you can do to really make it so that it doesn't become wordy or compact, or because a lot of people don't have any experience with this. And the next thing you know, they've written two minutes, and they needed to really write 45 seconds.

Lauren Passell 11:20

I know and it's so important because think about how much time you put into your podcast and then the copy on those things are so important. They're like life or death in some cases. I'm not so much of a podcaster as a podcast listener. I will tell you, I hear the same wording 100 times a day, the same wording on multiple episodes. Give me a rate and review on Apple podcasts, subscribe. So I get 100 asks in the same phrased in the same way. My biggest suggestion is to make your copy standout. Say it how you really mean it. Don't say give me a rating or review on Apple podcasts. I hear that so many times, I know that you should be doing this, but just think of another way to say it, explain why you want them to why it's important to you be honest and vulnerable, and maybe read some of the readings, interviews. Also, I'm doing something this year where I leave an Apple Podcast rating or review for podcasts every day of the year and I cannot say sometimes I even really love a show and I don't know what to say because I don't have tons of time. I don't want to spend forever. Tell people what to say, I don't mean literally tell them but give them a suggestion of something to say even if it's just tell me where you're listening from something to get them engaged, they'll leave their rating and a review. If you maybe help them out a little bit, maybe like ask me a question or think about it based on your show, but you know your audience so you can think of something.

Matt Cundill 12:44

Are ratings and reviews important?

Lauren Passell 12:47

I think they're really important because as my friend and partner Ariel Nissenblatt always says when you go to a podcast and you see that there are ratings and reviews there, it's like someone was writing I was here on the bathroom wall. It's great social proof. But you know, Apple podcasts, it says on their website, it doesn't help with the algorithms. That's another tip I would give actually about the copy. I cringe when I hear podcasters say, give us a rating and review it helps us in the algorithm. Because it doesn't help you in the algorithm. What helps you in the algorithm is getting a lot of downloads and having a great show and all those things, but but it's still really important. Sometimes I will go to a podcast and if I see that there's no ratings and reviews are one or two, I think didn't you even at least ask your family or your friends to leave a review? You know, people are spending not a lot of time sometimes looking if there's nothing there, they might not feel like it's a good enough show to even test out.

Matt Cundill 13:44

Do you think podcasters outsource too much? Whether it comes to maybe finding a guest for the show or making appearances on social media like writing show notes, for instance, like using AI instead of doing it yourself? Are we at a point now where we're outsourcing ourselves just a little too much to the point where the marketing doesn't feel personable?

Lauren Passell 14:03

I don't think so. I think that people should use all the help they can get and they need all the help they can get especially podcasters wear 10 hats and a lot of them want to spend time on their audio, which is what they're good at and what they should be doing and it's funny because sometimes, like when I tell people that for example, I'm tweeting about your podcast isn't going to grow. I get two different reactions, I get people saying that's not true my Tweets get a lot of likes, and I'm like that means you have a lot of friends that's very nice. But sometimes people say I'm so relieved, and to me that says oh, they want to focus on the audio. They don't want to do the marketing part. That's not the part of their brain. That's not the part that lights them up. It's impossible to be good at everything and I think if you can even just get a little bit of help. It's good, but you have to find the right people and you have to have good judgment and you have to have the final say and in the end it's up to you.

Matt Cundill 14:56

So if I'm just posting on social media about the podcast and I do, let's say a Facebook post on LinkedIn post, three Tweets a day and I'll even throw it up on threads now because I feel I have to. I don't think I've done my marketing for the day or have I?

Lauren Passell 15:11

No you haven't, ut that's good do that, because it's a good reminder, I wouldn't say don't do it, but don't expect anything out of it. So before I was saying, if I could steal some of your time away from social media, I would say, make it a goal to find five podcast friends a week or something like that, and email them, or subscribe to a new podcast newsletter, or pitch yourself as a guest to one show a week, like find that show and pitch yourself something like that those partnerships really work and they take more time. A pitch letter should take at least 15 minutes to write. So it's a lot upfront, but it's really worth it and it works.

Matt Cundill 15:52

Newsletters work, but newsletters are I mean, you've got two of them, I think. And they are a labor of love. Not everybody is good at them. I don't consider myself to be very good at it. I like reading them. I see good ones out there. So what's the difference between a really good newsletter and just an average newsletter?

Lauren Passell 16:13

Well, if you have a podcast, I think an average newsletter is just gonna say, hey, we have an episode out and that's fine, but not the best use of the space. I think that the best kind of podcast newsletter could be enjoyed if you don't even listen to the podcast, it's its own thing., It has maybe shownotes or extra information about the podcasts, but ideally, they drive people to the other. So you're getting people to read it and really want to listen to the podcast, but they don't have to and vice versa. I love it when people have behind the scenes things in newsletters. I love it when people have recommendations when podcasters give recommendations, obviously for podcasts, but also other things too. I think it's a great way for you to get to know the podcaster a little bit better and also pull in people from your community, shout out other people, other podcasts makers, other artists and creatives. There's so much fun stuff you can do in a newsletter. I think it's always kind of a bummer. I mean, I'm always glad when someone has one. I always tell people the second you start your podcast or even before you should start a newsletter and they're like I don't have content yet and I'm like it doesn't matter. Those email addresses. You know, you don't own your Apple podcasts audience, start collecting those email addresses and save it then when you do have content, you'll be ready to send out your content to people so I'm always excited when someone has one. But it's a little bit of a bummer when I get the newsletter and it's just hey, we have a new episode out. I want more

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Matt Cundill 18:13

Is the best marketing still word of mouth?

Lauren Passell 18:16


Matt Cundill 18:16

Podcast recommendations like it feels like a whole like industry unto its own. I mean, I think when I ask people, What do you listen to though I listened to Smartless, I listen to The Moth and then they're gonna list off 10 other podcasts I've never heard of before. I feel like that's every conversation I have about podcasting.

Lauren Passell 18:32

I love that. I hope you're writing them down you should send them to me the recommendations you're getting. What are you listening to right now?

Matt Cundill 18:38

I'm starting Scamanda. I do listen to Repurposed Radio. So I'll listen to a sports show at the end of the day, I'll do that for eight months of the year when the NFL Football season is in play. And then it doesn't get very exciting because I listened to a lot of podcasts about podcasts.

Lauren Passell 18:56

I love those. Those are my favorites.

Matt Cundill 18:59

So New Media Show, Podcasts Weekly Review, Dave Jackson's Podcasts, I'll listen to those and I'll and The Feed. Lipson's The Feed. I'll just listen to those. Yeah, it's not exciting stuff, but it's the stuff I like to listen to. Should my podcast be on YouTube?

Lauren Passell 19:16

I mean, it depends. I talked to a lot of podcasters who say, wait a second, I got into this podcast thing because I didn't want to be on video and I don't want to do my hair it is it can be a big investment. If it's really going to bring you down I wouldn't do it. If it's really gonna bum you out to do it. I wouldn't do it, but I think there's some pretty like easy things you could do. You know, YouTube is the biggest search engine. So thinking of ways to spice up your content and think of ways that people might be searching for that content using questions and lists like how to put your podcasts onto YouTube. Here's a clip. So if you could make a few video clips that drive people back to the podcast I think that it's worth it, but right now we still don't, I think have enough information about what is available to us on YouTube and how it benefits podcasters and also, I'm an audio person, I'm always going to say, cherish your audio first. But you know, who knows? I'm sure that answer will change soon.

Matt Cundill 20:21

So I either did something really brilliant today or I made a big mistake. And that's I let it leak to a few people that I would be talking to you today.

Lauren Passell 20:29

Uh oh.

Matt Cundill 20:30

Can you ask her some questions for me? And they are asking me things that might sail over my head.

Lauren Passell 20:37

Okay, maybe mine.

Matt Cundill 20:40

I hang out with podcast people and now they're asking podcast questions that are, you know, sailing sideways on me. Does Lauren agree with the concept of low conversion levels that come from podcast clip marketing Tiktok, Funnel to Apple, Spotify.

Lauren Passell 20:52

I believe in all kinds, you know, anything that will drive people and I don't know what low level means. I think that we put so much emphasis on a download, but download isn't the only goal you should have as a podcaster. So, I don't know. Is your goal to also get more Tik Tok followers? You know, is your goal to reach Tik Tokers? Are you is your goal to reach Gen Z people like I kind of think everybody first like step back a couple steps and say what is my goal? I in fact, I asked podcasters that a lot and they're like, huh, no one's ever asked me that before. And I'm like, wow, let's think about that first, because one of my clients was someone with a business and their goal wasn't actually to have tons and tons of downloads. They just wanted to get a few new clients a month that was really important to them, and it made a big difference to them. So that was their goal. So really think your goal doesn't have to be getting 10,000 downloads that episode.

Matt Cundill 21:47

Can you get the same SEO results in views from putting your audio on YouTube as opposed to doing straight video?

Lauren Passell 21:53

I don't think so. I mean, I think that's what is so great about YouTube. That's where you can make the most out of your SEO.

Matt Cundill 22:00

So 42% of Americans listen to a podcast in the last month. That's the number we're given from Edison Research. Last April, you and Ariel Nissenblatt got together for Adopt A Listener month. How many listeners were adopted? And did the program work?

Lauren Passell 22:16

The program worked, but not how I thought it was going to work.

Matt Cundill 22:21


Lauren Passell 22:22

Yeah, we went out and spent an entire day in Washington Square Park and I thought it was going to be me giving people podcast recommendations. I mean, like, oh, my gosh, you love Ohio. Here's a podcast all about Buckeyes just for you. You know, that's not what happened. It was more of a podcast awareness campaign, people needed to hear the word podcast for the third time of their lives and be reminded that that was there. One woman thought we were lying to her that podcasts exist. I had to show them on her phone, you know. I'm in a bubble, my understanding of how many people listened was really far off. I don't know how many people were converted. Technically, I thought it would be more of people coming to me and saying, my aunt did not listen. And now she listens every single day and that was my hope okay but what ended up happening was I got people talking about sharing the idea of podcasts as a an awareness campaign, like the Got Milk campaign. And what I hope for is that every April, next April, more people join me and it turns into more of a reminder of what we have here what they are, and get it in, in more people's brains.

Matt Cundill 23:28

And that's a great lesson really, for podcasters and people in radio, or any form of media, and that you can't read the label inside the pickle jar, you've got to get out of the pickle jar and go out and meet people and find out that they really don't know much about the whole thing. And I think he probably use my favorite tactic, which is when somebody says, oh, I don't know anything about podcasts, I don't know where to find them and then it's give me your phone. And then you go to this purple thing. This is your purple app, you will always use the purple app for podcasts and then people can go in and go, oh, I didn't even know that that this existed. Then comes the next hump I think for which is really where podcast recommendations come in and I think it's a problem with Netflix. Let's watch Netflix, it takes seven minutes to find something to watch. What can we do when we search out a podcast to listen to what can we do to make sure that we find what we want to find in a minute or two and we don't get into that Netflix trap of just the endless scroll looking for something to listen to.

Lauren Passell 24:27

If you only have a minute, oh, first, let me say this is another good thing about promo swaps. It's not just a good way to help podcasters grow. It's a good way to get podcast listeners the correct recommendations because you probably have set up a promo with someone like minded. And so if I'm listening to the daily zeitgeist, and I hear a promo for American asteria that's a recommendation I should take. So I feel like listening to podcasts is the best way to get more curated recommendations and that's through promo swaps.

Matt Cundill 25:01

So like I said at the beginning, Lauren is joining us from New York City, which can be noisy. I'm guessing what you're about to hear is a fire truck that goes by and I'm telling this for the benefit of those listening in the car, that the siren is on the podcast and not in your immediate vicinity. You see, Lauren was on a roll. So I made an executive decision to leave her on a roll. I knew you'd understand.

Lauren Passell 25:26

So take note, don't let your brain skip over the promo swaps actually listen to what they're saying and if your podcasts or listen to how they're using their promo copy also, as a side note, you know, if you only have a minute, I think that another good thing is the newsletters sign up for every single podcast newsletter. I mean, if you're a podcaster, you need to be subscribed to podcast newsletters, you absolutely must. So that you can pitch yourself but also to know what's going on in the industry and that's a lot of my go to when I'm like running out not that there's ever going to run out, but if I'm like I need something new, I need something that I don't already have in my library. I will go through my list of podcasts newsletters.

Matt Cundill 26:04

What should podcasters do to adopt a listener? It's something we could and should be doing year round. I'm glad you brought it to fruition in April, but what can we be doing year round to recruit more people to podcasting to get that number from 42%, perhaps to 50%.

Lauren Passell 26:19

So going back to my Ohio example, I'm from Ohio, so I thought it would be really like oh my gosh, you are living in Ohio. You're going to love this podcast about Cedar Point Amusement Park, you're gonna love it okay. That was what I thought because I know so many podcasts, I love niche, weird podcasts, I can find a podcast for anybody. I was like, I'm gonna nail this okay. I had a conversation with Tom Webster and he changed my mind about this. He said, Lauren, don't get too cute about it and I knew what he meant. And he was right and what he meant was, send them the best. Don't send them something specific if it's not the absolute best. So at Tink, we made a list of what we thought were some of the best storytime the ones that you're like, how could you not love This American Life? I'm sorry, just it's so good. Don't forget about this American Life, there's so many new shiny shows don't forget how good it still is. Send them something amazing to make them fall in love with audio. That is my biggest advice.

Matt Cundill 27:20

What can we do to get together to lower the number of microphones that appear in podcast artwork. It absolutely makes me nuts. I actually banned it from my company. I still have, there's still a couple of microphones kicking about, but the people I work with, I said we're gonna get rid of those.

Lauren Passell 27:39

I love that you said that I almost brought that up earlier. I do something called podcast therapy, which is consulting and I can't tell you how many times I start and say right off the top. We know it's a podcast you don't need the microphone there. I have a question though. Because I tell people this and sometimes people are like, well, I should have one because my podcast is about podcasting, or you know what I mean? They have some, do you think it's there any exceptions to this rule?

Matt Cundill 28:03

I'm going to say no. I still think you can do it without a microphone.

Lauren Passell 28:09

Have you ever seen it well done?

Matt Cundill 28:11

Artwork for a podcast about podcasting?

Lauren Passell 28:13

Two questions, I guess: Artwork for a podcast about podcasting and have you ever seen it done well someone using a microphone on artwork?

Matt Cundill 28:22

I'll give a shout out to Denver Wine Radio, which is a podcast that I work with that actually had the wine being poured into the microphone. Oh, I saw I'd let that one slide. I think the feed is fine. I think I there's no microphone in that I don't believe and I get what I need. They changed the cover the artwork, but the episode number and I think it's a fine use of artwork shows up nicely on Apple CarPlay. Effective, at least listen, it's not the cover of Fleetwood Mac rumors, but it but it gets the job done.

Lauren Passell 28:58

Our work is important. I think, you know we judge books by covers it's so important.

Matt Cundill 29:03

Okay, so let me ask you what makes for good artwork? My advice to people is can you recreate Fleetwood Mac Rumors, if you were going to release your, if your podcast was going to be a piece of vinyl, and you would hold it up, what would it be like? And I say don't put don't do book covers could book book covers have writing all over it. You don't want writing all over your artwork. Can you make Dark Side of the Moon? Can it be Fleetwood Mac Rumors cannot be the Boston debut album what sort of artwork is out there?

Lauren Passell 29:37

I love thinking about this. I mean, I think basically, I rarely think someone's picture should be on a podcast. Most podcasts need a little bit of a descriptor or a subhead. I think unless the title says it all. I don't think you always have to say with you know, and then the person's name. I also love it when people do things like the podcast this is dating I think they went out to like a painter or something like that, like finding non traditional ways to get that art. I love it when people do that. So I love your idea of the album cover. Because it is like, yeah, can you enjoy this on its own? Like, oh my god, most of the time for podcasts, no. But isn't it such a treat when you see one that you really love and that it's art on its own? Like, I think we need to start thinking about that more, because I worked with a podcast called City Of Ghosts and we got it featured on Pocket Casts, which, you know, isn't the biggest app, it's my favorite app, but the artwork was so beautiful and positive, it really did well, and Pocket Casts and I'm positive it's because the artwork is beautiful. Look it up City Of Ghosts. I can attribute downloads because the artwork is so good. So I really do think it's important.

Matt Cundill 30:48

And now that Apple podcasts is starting to integrate more into their apps, it's more important than ever, so much so that I hired a graphic designer had to it's just it just somehow just got just a touch beyond Canva for me.

Lauren Passell 31:02

How often do you think people should change their covers?

Matt Cundill 31:05

Whenever they want. I'm more concerned about changing the imaging at the beginning of the show audio wise, you know, if you have any, a lot of people don't, I still think you should have 15 seconds of audio branded right at the beginning of your show, just in case somebody puts your podcast on their website, so at least you get the credit for it. You just need 15 seconds, it's just sound design. Don't read the description. You know, you've already sold the car to the to the listener, they're driving away with it, and you're still selling them the car. If you if you're reading the description back then just this is the name of the show. Here we go. It's just and think, think sound design don't think audio and words.

Lauren Passell 31:45

That's I mean, it's very good advice because I think a lot of podcasters forget that, like I might be coming in cold and have this is might be the first episode I've ever listened to. I might not have read the description so I do need information. You know, I think there's so in it sometimes. They've listened to every episode they've been there, obviously. They forget how you need to get someone who has might have been dropped into your world and have no idea where they are.

Matt Cundill 32:11

But you should be able to tell somebody about your podcast and eight seconds, title of the show. It's about this, here we go. I don't think I need your LinkedIn biography to get to the beginning of the show.

Lauren Passell 32:21

No need to think about the listener.

Matt Cundill 32:25

You read three to five books a week?

Lauren Passell 32:26

Not anymore. How did you know that about me?

Matt Cundill 32:29


Lauren Passell 32:31

I used to work in book publishing. And I did when I worked in book publishing, and I still try to read as much as I can now, but it's not three to five books a week anymore.

Matt Cundill 32:42

But eventually it's three to five podcasts or more.

Lauren Passell 32:44

Oh, yes. I mean, I listen to probably six hours a day, possibly five to six hours a day and usually it's a little sped up. So and more on the weekends. So lots of podcasts.

Matt Cundill 33:01

So that was going to be the very, very personal question is it 1.5x is a 2x?

Lauren Passell 33:08

I mean-

Matt Cundill 33:08

How sped up?

Lauren Passell 33:08

Sometimes depending on the show, I'll go 2.7. I feel like if I'm at 1.7 it feels like my brain is warped. I think at 1.7. I feel like it's one. But if I'm listening to a show that deserves my full attention, I'm listening to Caitlin pressed or a music podcast or something. I will listen at 1.0 Also, my husband I listened we listened together and I have to listen at 1.0 with him. So because that's what you do when you love someone you listen at one point speed with them. So I do listen to one sometimes.

Matt Cundill 33:46

How's your anxiety because I find that when you listen to sped up, it creates anxiety.

Lauren Passell 33:51

I'm on Lexapro it's all good.

Matt Cundill 33:53

You mentioned it and I was actually going to title podcast episode this, but you've already mentioned it and I felt like Ding.

Oh, I love that idea.

Do you feel like a podcast therapist?

Lauren Passell 34:07

I do. Because a lot of times, I am not a therapist, first of all, but in these therapy sessions, it is consulting, but it's so much more. Because there's a lot of emotion. It's a lot of pouring out of your soul and vulnerability and also podcasters aren't always sure. They're not getting feedback sometimes. So I feel like the podcast therapy sessions, it's like, it's more than just, you know what should go on your cover. It's so much more that would be a great honor. If I could be considered a podcast therapist, someone to listen real I'm listening. Some someone if I could be considered someone who's really listening, and that you could trust to go to and listen. That would be a big honor.

Matt Cundill 34:51

Lauren, thanks so much for being on the podcast. I appreciate it.

Lauren Passell 34:54

Thank you. I can't wait to listen to this episode.

Matt Cundill 34:56

Are you speaking a Podcast Movement?

Lauren Passell 34:58

Yes. Are you?

Matt Cundill 35:00

I am not. I'm going to be there. I will definitely be there. It's my summer camp.

Lauren Passell 35:06

Me too.

Matt Cundill 35:07

I have to get out of Winnipeg. It's, it's like all I do is I sit here I gotta get out of here. Like, I can't be here anymore. I gotta go hang with my people.

Lauren Passell 35:16

I'm so excited.

The Sound Off Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill, produced by Evan Surminski, edited by Chloe Emond-Lane, social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from the Sound Off Media Company. There's always more at


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