May 31, 2022

How to Podcast About Controversy Respectfully

Is your podcast about a controversial topic?

How do you create a podcast that builds bridges on a complex topic versus tearing it down in a world that wants to cancel everything? 

A bridge is an integral part of any two sides understanding each other, and podcasting has always been a good bridge for conversations we need to be having. But getting started and navigating the landscape isn’t always easy, and even for the best podcasters in this space, it’s a skill practiced repeatedly.

Listen today on how to get started, what to know, and how to be the change you want to see in the world through podcasting.

·     U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Hits $1.4 Billion in 2021 (2:48)

·     Underestimating the value of your podcast (5:00)

·     Finding what is the cost per lead for an advertiser (9:49)

·     Why a Podcast audit can help find advertisers (13:38)

·     How to avoid the foot in your mouth moments (17:09)

·     Being the model for what civil conversations can look like (27:47)

·     Preparing for hard conversations as the interviewer (34:43)

·     When does it make sense to swear on the podcast (44:56)


Thanks for Listening!

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Speaker 2 (00:02)

Hello and welcome to Podcasting Anything and ask me anything for all things podcasting. I'm your host, Ben CLOY, and I'm joined here in the studio with Mathew Passy. The podcast control Matt and I wanted to move the conversation beyond the podcasting 101 topics and move into the intermediate to advance podcasting strategy. To reach your goals, to interact with the show, submit your questions to be answered live. Book a podcast audible with Matthew, or find the notes from today's show. Head on over to Welcome back to a Podcast Me anything. I'm joined again here with Matthew in our live recording studio and Matthew to kick off our now ritual cat talk. I have a question for you. Why do Seagulls have to live by the sea?

Speaker 1 (00:47)

I don't know, but I know there's a dad joke in there about shouldn't they be called bagels?

Speaker 2 (00:52)

Because if they were by the Bay, they would be bagels and not Seagulls. You had it so close. You were there. You were ready to put like, you were so close to throw it through. I'm still getting street tread on my podcast when I drop dad jokes like that. And also with my kids, a lot of tired dad looks at me and.

Speaker 1 (01:08)

Like, dad, as military veteran dad podcast host, you better be dropping good dad jokes in your show.

Speaker 2 (01:15)

It was actually a lesson. About a year ago, I was struggling again, going back to our episode we just did on sale chips. I was just like, I feel stuffy. I feel like this room is just stuffy when I'm recording. And I'm like, I think it's me. And essentially, I wasn't allowing my personality to come in. I was trying to forcefully match some persona of some picturesque perfect podcaster that had my mind on the Internet. And then I was losing my personality. So I decided to lighten it up, bring dad jokes, bring laughter and just bring more energy. And dad jokes was an easy way for me to bring more personality without a lot of overthinking as well. And there's a million dad jokes out there, so no shortage of dad jokes.

Speaker 1 (01:57)

And plus, it's just now part of our DNA. Once you become a father, it's just automatically ingrained in New York.

Speaker 2 (02:01)

But I'm not naturally good at creating bad jokes. I always have to go out there and Google, and there's only a few that I can remember. So the bagels one is one that I can remember. And I'll give you another one because this one also is easy to remember. Why do Ducks have tail feathers?

Speaker 1 (02:18)

I don't know.

Speaker 2 (02:18)

They cover their butt quacks.

Speaker 1 (02:21)

Well, it's been a great show, everybody. Thanks for tuning in to Podcast me anything. We will see.

Speaker 2 (02:25)

You never actually that dad joke is a good lead in for our deep dive, but we'll save that for when we go into our deep dive. What I want to talk about today is there's a new article about podcast ad revenue out and advertising is always one of the most interesting things because there's a lot of data on it that often doesn't make sense as an indie or even just an upcoming podcaster. So when you hear these types of articles, break that down of how does that impact the average podcast and what does it mean for the overall podcasting ecosphere?

Speaker 1 (02:56)

I mean, the truth is, when it comes to the average podcaster, which is usually someone who is not going to be generating a ton of revenue off of advertising directly, probably doesn't mean all that much. But what it does mean for all of us as a whole is that with more money pouring into podcasting, with more sponsors getting interested, more brands getting interested, it means more investments, more growth, more people, more listeners. So I mean, overall a rising tide lifts all ships is the kind of mentality that I've got with here that I think is encouraging. And the fact that we are seeing more money pouring into podcast advertising revenue more than what was originally projected and obviously much more than we've seen already is clearly a good thing.

Speaker 2 (03:41)

And it almost reminds me of what happened when Joe Rogan was bought by Spotify. And it's no different that's even going on anywhere across the real estate market in the United States is when one house is sold for 20 $30,000 more than the average house, everyone's house becomes more valuable. I remember that being quoted around when Joe Rogan's podcast was bought for that and same amount of money and the same thing here, everybody's asset gets more value. It's even almost very similar to probably NF. T's. Where like one silly little project with little value becomes more and more because of other projects going on around it that elevate the whole ecosphere. So it is one of those that get excited for having something that may be intangible. In the beginning, I remember even to this day, like the craziest thought was putting out an email to someone and saying, I want $250 for every episode to sponsor. And then a year and a half later when someone replied and said I want to buy three months and $2,000 came into my bank account realizing that this entire asset that you're building gets more and more valuable.

Speaker 2 (04:47)

It's a really hard mindset. I think that as a podcaster we don't value enough. And I'm sure you run into it that you probably see podcasts with piles of gold in their data as you're giving consulting advice and they don't really see the positioning of how you know what that house next to you sold for a lot of money. You have a house just like it, you could get a lot of money too. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (05:10)

I mean, what's interesting when you talk about ad revenue and how it cosbas.


In general, when you talk to folks.

Speaker 1 (05:17)

Like what do you get for an ad? $25 CPM right? For every thousand listeners, $25, that's great. That is an average number. That is accurate. But really, when you talk to podcasters who are going into very highly tailored niches, who have a really engaged audiences and who understand not only their audiences but the people who are trying to reach their audiences, that CPM number can jump up dramatically. If you know what you're doing and you know who you're talking to. I have a couple of clients who their CPM is upwards of $500,000 per thousand listeners. And I mean, that was a couple of years ago. So who knows where that number is today? But also the interesting thing when we talk about CPM and advertising is that talking about the value of our listeners is to make it an easy number to work with. If we were even able to get $100 CPM. So for every 1000 listeners, we can get $100 for an ad that we run on our show, that essentially means that we are getting paid $0.10 for each listener that we get. And I remember this came up a lot when Joe Rogan went sliding over to Spotify people like, no, I could have made more money.

Speaker 1 (06:30)

The truth is, if he were to do a direct revenue model where he was charging people for listening, you could charge people upwards of 510, $20 a month for your content. And that means you're getting paid a lot more per person. Even if you spread let's go with $5. Even if you spread that $5 out across a month. Right? Four episodes, that still means you're getting paid one dollars, 25 per person that listens to your episode, as opposed to person that listens to your episode by an Advertiser. So not that I'm saying it's going to work for everybody. Not that I'm saying everybody has the kind of numbers that can generate that kind of interest. But the truth is we should think about the value of our listeners in different ways. The other thing we don't think about is what if you don't need to monetize off advertisers?


What if you don't need to monetize.

Speaker 1 (07:27)

Off the direct relationship? Right? What if you need to turn those listeners into a customer or a client or someone who can help you grow your network? Well, the reach and the value of that person could be limitless. Now, for many folks, they can measure it. Right? If I am able to attain a new customer, that's $10,000 every year, blah, blah, blah, lifetime, and like really good metrics and KPIs and ROIs and getting those listeners. But there's something to be said about having a podcast, meeting new people, growing your network, and seeing untold limitless opportunities and possibilities from what it is that you're doing. So you're right. A lot of us don't really think about the true value of what could be attained by creating content and putting it out there. Even if you look just beyond this great number that more brands want to spend money to reach podcast listeners.

Speaker 2 (08:25)

There was another angle that I can almost add to this that I didn't think of when I started this conversation with this topic. But it hit me with a few people that have reached out for sponsorships. One of them was like a military hearing aid, which isn't a cheap product. And one thing being in the marketing world before coming into this world is actually thinking about what is the price of their product. So say if it's anywhere between like five hundred dollars to one thousand dollars, when they sell something, they win big. Like, it's not a small ticket, $100 item. Like, that's $100, maybe $50 a month that they're getting maybe a week. So it takes a lot of numbers. So that's where it's where you get a lower CPM. But what I'm saying here is realizing that some of these sponsors, they might actually be willing to pay a higher number because when they win, they win big. And that also allows them to find these niches and they know when they find the right niche, they win big. So realizing that you don't have to play for the bottom of the barrel, you could actually just find a really well positioned sponsor.

Speaker 2 (09:23)

Like, one of my sponsors was a sleep study, and that sleep study finds a hard time trying to find candidates. Finding someone from my podcast to do their sleep study was extremely valuable. If they don't have people doing it, the study doesn't run. So realizing what's in it for them, how hard is it for them to find people? It almost discredits the CPM being this default number because to me, it's actually better seeing it from their eyes. How important is it that they get one person? If that one person makes their month, they're willing to pay a pretty Penny to get that month.

Speaker 1 (09:56)



I mean, going back to some of.

Speaker 1 (09:58)

The clients that I work with, most of them are in the financial services industry. And some of the people who are advertising over there when they sign a new customer, you're talking about a potential product sale upwards of $25,000. So yeah, am I willing to spend $1,000 per episode across six months and with maybe a couple of thousand listeners, if I can attract five to ten new customers? Yeah, I've more than covered my nut. I'm in really good shape.

Speaker 2 (10:39)

There one thing I really want to point out for anybody listening to this. Depending on where you're at in your podcast journey, this is a mindset issue, really. And it comes down how you see your asset, your value, and your positioning statement as an Advertiser or as a product to these advertisers, understanding it from the whole angle is definitely worth the time because you could be leaving a lot of money on the table and not really realizing how much of a good steal you are for whatever like, they come in and say, I lowball them at 250 and they're like, man, we would have paid 500 because we really need these people. And when we went or SAS customer, like those SAS customers, they might sign one and they know if they signed a customer, they've just secured $2,000 in revenue. For example, maybe for the entire year. You don't really know what the life value of these customers. That's another popular term to kind of understand the lifetime value of these customers. Like, if they win this customer, how much money do they expect to get out of every customer they say yes to?

Speaker 2 (11:38)

Because that's bargaining chip when you're doing those podcast advertising contracts.

Speaker 1 (11:44)

Well, that's the other reason why we've said in the past. Maybe when you're just starting out, it might be hard to convince someone to pay you up front for it. But maybe you can set up some sort of affiliate relationship where you can use some sort of promo code, tracking link, whatever, and show a brand, hey, we drove so many people to you. As a result, we get 5% of that and then you can turn around to the next person and be like, look, this is the kind of results we did. We're worth to be paid upfront for it even if we don't have a 20,000 person listening audience, right? Again, it just matters. Are you reaching the right audience and are you truly engaging with that audience and truly connecting with them? It's one thing to be like, I've got 50,000 downloads. Cool. Who are those 50,000 people? I don't know. Whereas a lot of shows that are highly, highly specialized, highly focused, very niche, very filling that void, they can turn to an Advertisement and be like, yeah, this is who our clients are. These are who our listeners are. Because nobody is accidentally tripping over and listening to this podcast unless they fit into this demographic.

Speaker 1 (12:56)

I always remember Glenn the geek runs the Horse Radio Network telling me one day my carriage horse racing podcast, I was getting a few hundred listeners was more profitable than the main show that was getting thousands of listeners because there was nowhere else to go for carriage horse racing enthusiasts in this country. And so when advertisers wanted to reach them, where else do they go to him? Because you and I are not going to accidentally trip over and listen to a carriage racing podcast. We're not interested in it. So they knew, even if they weren't getting a huge number, they knew the number they were getting were a dedicated number of people that they wanted to reach. So I think you really have to like you said earlier, it's about a mindset. It's not just about the raw numbers that are out there.

Speaker 2 (13:38)

And this would be a great plug for the podcast consultant. Consultant call about your podcast. Because often what I've noticed, especially on this side, like listening to bunch of Podcasts, understanding how podcasts work, being more of like the structure of creating different podcast me anything to podcast conferences. You see the podcasting world at a very wide angle. And as a new podcaster that maybe hasn't been to a conference, if you have a very small world of how podcasting looks within your ecosphere, reach out to Mathew. Because what Mathew can do is a superpower of take your little idea and expand it in this whole mecha universe of podcasting and be like, you know, you're like this podcast over here that's doing this, and they're crushing it. You can't get that just by sitting and staring at your computer screen trying to publish every week. So take this moment that if you're in this moment, you're thinking like, man, I can't really visualize how to plug in my podcast to something bigger or see a potential of a partner or an Advertiser. Matthew is not going to tell you exactly who to go find and call, but Mathew is going to tell you a demographic and a mindset to adopt that will allow you to go out there and find it.

Speaker 2 (14:46)

And I know that's what he did for me, and I know they can do that for you. So reach out to for that consultation.

Speaker 1 (14:56)

Yeah, I'll just add to that and thank you, by the way. But yeah, we've had a lot of calls where we're really not just talking about the tech of podcasting, but many of our audits really come back down to understanding, why are you doing this? And when people actually tell you why they're doing it and what they hope to accomplish, and then you listen to their content in that framework, you realize these things are not aligned, right? We need to make these things on the same page because right now you're just spinning your wheels. So we're happy to listen to your content, understand your goals, understand who you're trying to target and see if they are truly lined up. And if not, let's figure out which we have to fix. Do we have to fix your goals or do we have to fix your content? And do we have to measure things or truly, do we have to look at and be like, this isn't going to work for you? That's okay. It might not be the right solution for you. So let us know if we could take a listen and take a look and give you that 25,000 foot look that is not as personally attached and mostly attached to the product, where it might be hard for you to look at and be like, but it works because I love it.

Speaker 1 (15:59)

I know you love it, but it might not be working. So you might need an outsider to kind of come in there and tell you you're missing the boat a little bit. Let's fix it, because then we can right the ship and get you going in the right direction.

Speaker 2 (16:11)

I absolutely love that. And so let's lead into our deep dive today. And to kick off our deep dive, I want to go into the podcast meeting time machine. We're going to go all back to the we're going to visit Home Improvement, a favorite sitcom of America that was popularized by Tim Taylor. And the one moment that happened routinely was the Tim Taylor foot in your mouth moment, where he would say something and it would be like, Tim, you did it again. So much to the point, the florist had a special bouquet that he called the Tim Taylor foot in your mouth special. Our deep dive today is dedicated towards how to not put your foot in your mouth, but still have your voice and still be able to make a point, but also maybe even create a movement without going so far that you end up creating this mass fear of energy going back at you that almost is this cancel culture that we see out there, but you still find a way to get through. So, Matthew, to kick us off when you think of an idea that maybe is a controversial one, what is some of the consultation that you give around when you might think like, you know what, there's an opportunity for a foot in your mouth moment.

Speaker 2 (17:16)

How do you coach someone past that moment or to guard against it so that they don't end up doing it, which you probably don't end up doing it, but it's about preparing for it when it does happen.

Speaker 1 (17:25)

Yeah. I mean, I would say both luckily and truthfully. Most of the folks that we work with, their content isn't really very controversial in a lot of ways. It's not very political. It is opinionated, but it is rarely personal. And so we don't really tend to run into too many problems of people saying something that could get them canceled per se. You can get people being angry. You can get people I disagree. That's okay. People are allowed to disagree. In fact, it's kind of good to get people disagreeing because that creates engagement and creates discussion. And maybe it brings up an argument that you had never thought of and gives you a chance to open your perspective and think about it. But what I have seen that really brings people down isn't so much the difference of opinion. It's when you are attacking those whose opinion is different from yours. And there was an example of it that happened truthfully very recently in the podcasting space. I'm not going to bring up the person's name personally or talk about what happened to them, but they have a very strong opinion on a very hot topic in the news today.

Speaker 1 (18:39)

And listen, I don't agree with that person's opinion, but they are entitled to have that opinion. What really brought them down was not having the opinion. It was how they characterized and attacked and denigrated those who opposed their opinion, right? It wasn't the opinion. It was the attack and the personalization that made it a big problem. I'm going to take it back even further. This is more of a professional example. When I worked for the large media organization, Dow Jones, we had the Wall Street Journal radio network. Our show was broadcast on other stations all across the country. We didn't have a radio station. We were just create content, ship it down to the other stations, and it would air right in between the news after the traffic and weather during a commercial break, whatever. And one of the reasons that we got into a lot of trouble financially, like one of the things that really hurt our business model was Rush Limbaugh. It wasn't because Rush Limbaugh. It wasn't because Rush Limbaugh had opinions that we disagreed with. It wasn't because Rush Limbaugh was conservative. It wasn't for any of those reasons. It was because Rush Limbaugh one day called a 22 year old grad student, Sandra Fluke, aslut.

Speaker 1 (19:56)

I don't know if you can remember that.

Speaker 2 (19:57)

I do remember that.

Speaker 1 (19:58)

I was talking almost ten years ago now when this right. You remember when that happened ten years ago? It wasn't because he disagreed with her. It's because he personally attacked the 22 year old who was testifying before Congress on an issue that was controversial in the news. You're wondering, like, what does that have to do with you guys? The reason why that became an issue for us was because the world got mad at Rush for hitting this 22 year old civilian with a really nasty thing to say, like really going on a personal attack against her. And what happened was people were calling for advertisers to stop supporting his show. And at the time, many of them were okay doing that. Many of them said, that's right. We don't want our ads running against the show. And maybe he took a little hit or maybe other people came in to take their place. Happens on Fox News all the time where something happens on Fox Uproar happens, cancel culture comes in, a few advertisers decide to pull out, and then some other folks come in and take their place and the money keeps flowing in and blah, blah, blah, whatever.

Speaker 1 (21:11)

What happened to us was even though we had nothing to do with that show, what was happening was we were selling ads as well against our content. And so you would hear a business report, and then you would hear an ad that we sold because we now have access to millions of years across this huge network of stations. And then you might hear the beginning of the next Limbaugh segment because we were in that commercial break. We were in that top of the hour in between his programming. And so what we were getting were advertisers coming to us saying, we can't advertise with you because now it looks like we're supporting his programming. So we had to work really hard to make sure that we didn't have our reports on certain stations running during his show. Well, then it turns out that we weren't running any programming during his show. But now what was happening was we were doing a report at 04:00 on the market close. We'd run the ad that we were selling, and then after our ad ran was a promo for Russia's show for Tomorrow.



Speaker 1 (22:20)

Having nothing to do with being a part of the actual show. And that still had people thinking that we were affiliated with the show and that was causing problems. And we were starting to lose our sponsors as well, even though we didn't actually do anything controversial or support anything controversial. So why do we bring this all up? One, I mean, to your earlier point, I don't think it's fair or right to be verified for your opinion. You have an opinion, you're entitled to it, practice it, preach it, believe it. I don't think that you should be vilified for your opinion. Everybody is entitled to it. I don't have to agree with it. I don't have to like it. But you should be allowed to believe what you believe, feel what you feel, and even if you want to talk about it and preach to other people, fine. Personally, what I don't think you're allowed to do is I don't think you have the right to force other people to follow your opinion if that's not what they believe. And I don't think you have the right to assault or insult or personalize your attacks on people who disagree with you.

Speaker 1 (23:25)

And so in creating your content and thinking about your show, if you are going to do the latter, you're going to face a lot of problems. The other thing that you have to think about is the problem with association, which is to say if you are somehow tied to content or tied to personalities or tied to networks that are controversial or that are promoting controversy or whatever, you run the risk today of being brought down by having that relationship.

Speaker 2 (24:00)

Even being associated with Will Smith. I mean, any one company associated with Will Smith probably lost millions, if not close to a billion dollars simply overnight being associated with a man that they had nothing to do with over that incident.

Speaker 1 (24:13)

Right. I mean, how many people dropped him.


The next day or how many movies got canceled?

Speaker 2 (24:17)

It's a cascading Hill. It just started rolling.

Speaker 1 (24:19)

And so, I mean, I think as a podcaster, this comes in a couple of ways. Like one, you want to be able to express an opinion. You should be allowed to express an opinion and understand that there are people who are going to disagree with you. There are people who are going to say that you shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion, but you are allowed to express an opinion. What you have to be careful though of is once you put your opinion out there right, once you have exercised your free speech to put your thoughts and talk and opinion and whatnot out there, you have to understand that response is also an exercise of free speech. So if you want to be controversial, if you want to be nasty, if you want to be a jerk, that's fine. You're going to limit your audience to people who approve of that kind of nastiness and jerkishness and whatever, and only the people who agree with you and maybe some of the ones who disagree with you because they like to get themselves enraged and listen to content that makes them angry. But for the most part, you are running that risk of alienating and isolating yourself.

Speaker 1 (25:20)

And even these days, possibly seeing yourself deep platform because remember, you are using essentially the highways that are owned by private companies. If you're putting out content that is hateful, violent, whatever, Apple has every right to say, yeah, we're not going to list your podcast, it's our phone, it's our player. We can just take you off and we have seen them do that. So I think, again, you're allowed to have an opinion, but you have to understand consequences to your opinion are as much an exercise of free speech as you being able to express that opinion.

Speaker 2 (26:00)

And you actually were inspiring a couple of different thoughts in my head and you kicked it off right at the beginning where you talked about having a conversation about disagreement. And it's almost to the place where if you truly want to voice an opinion and have a debate or just speak what you might consider your truth, almost the podcasting way to do it. So if you are a podcaster, this would almost be like maybe the gold standard of how to do it politely and politically correct even is do it in a way of invite someone in an interview that has a good head on their shoulders that maybe disagrees with you, that you could have a healthy debate and let that be the vehicle to let people understand how you understand or see the world on something, but do it in a way that's civil and creates other people having understanding of this blueprint. To me, that's also what we miss a lot in America is having a civil conversation about difficult topics. And I'll never forget this. Now that popped in my head, it was 2019 podcast movement. And I'm watching and listening to the montage at the end of the conference and they were doing all these different moments of the highlights of the conference and it hit me that the hope of humanity doesn't lie on the internet.

Speaker 2 (27:16)

The hope humanity lies in human connection. And podcasting is like the resin on a fractured windshield. So if you imagine America, we're just with a bunch of million pieces of glass all over the windshield, like you get hit by rock podcasting is a great resin that will heal the glass back together, just like auto glass specialists can do when they come out and fix all your little cracks and dents that moment. To me, podcasting is a perfect medium for that. So I would almost use, in this case, be inspired to have a conversation, but be the model of what civil conversations can look like that allow both of you on either side of that microphone to feel richer for both having understanding because most people don't ever hear the other side's version of it. So to me, I think it actually is an invitation to model political diversity as well.

Speaker 1 (28:06)

Yeah. And listen, we've seen that before where you have a host who wants to tackle a difficult topic and they specifically bring somebody on with a very opposing viewpoint. And for one reason or another, that guest doesn't respond well. Now, you can try and remain civil. You can try to get them to relax and calm down and have a healthy discussion, and you'll be the better person for it. And you could do all that. And they can still tell you to go F yourself, in which case, right. That's their right to tell you that.


To walk off and not participate in this forum.

Speaker 1 (28:41)

Right. Your right to open up a forum is not your right to imprison somebody in that forum. So if you want to invite someone with an opposing viewpoint and then tell them everything they're doing is wrong, and maybe you're not delicate about a way, or maybe you're not nice about it. And by the way, that is not your decision. Right. It's how they perceive it that ultimately is going to make the difference. Well, that person has every right to walk away from the conversation. Freedom of speech is not just the freedom to speak, it's the freedom to not speak as well. Something else that this also brings up that I think is probably a little bit more pertinent to podcast is a little bit more precious than an issue to podcasters. And that is the idea of podcasters who are not doing this for their job. Right. You work for a company, you work for an association, you do something, and then in your free time, your spare time, you have a podcast. Right. And so you think to yourself, while the two are totally unlinked, I can do whatever I want over here because there's nothing to do with my job.

Speaker 1 (29:49)

Well, in many cases, believe it or not, the work you do on that podcast could come back and bite you in your professional life. Right. And listen to me, there's a difference between somebody having a difference of opinion and being canceled by the mob, which is unfair. But there's also a difference when somebody is doing something that, like we said earlier, is hurtful, is absolutely mean, is disgusting. Right. It's not just having that opinion, but it's how you are attacking those or how you are using or weaponizing that opinion against others that warrants or may at least be worth having other organizations know this is who you really are and then it is up to them to decide, do they want this person working for them or not? So what do you do in that situation? What do you do when you work for a company and then you decide you want to have a podcast? Well, first things first, you better go back and read your employee handbook. Really? Well, they've probably got a social media policy, they probably have a call to morality clause or whatever, right? But there might be something in the contract that you sign that basically says like, hey, if you're going to be a jerk out there that's going to reflect poorly on us and we don't want you here.

Speaker 1 (31:10)

And so in many cases, they are very much within the rights to tell you, like, don't do it. Also, if you're going to be doing a podcast where you are talking about your industry, you are talking about things that are happening and not necessarily like giving out insider secrets, but maybe you just happen to be a waiter and you like to talk about how customers are jerks and everybody goes to restaurants and asshole podcast. Well, listen, if it comes back that you work at this particular restaurant and people make that association, they're going to go, oh, cool, that restaurant has people who think we're all aholes, and we're not going to go back there, right? So you are putting yourself at risk. Like, yes, you have a freedom of speech. I'm going to repeat that a thousand times. You have a freedom of speech, but you are not free from the consequences of that speech. And your employer's reaction is just as much an exercise of their freedom of speech as yours is. So it might be worth to one understand what you can and cannot do. And maybe that means having a discussion with your supervisor, your boss, HR, someone to find out, hey, I'm going to do this content on the side.

Speaker 1 (32:24)

What do you think of that? And you may quickly get shut down. Or I would say at the worst, you're going to be told like, no, don't do that. If you proceed with that, we are going to let you go. No offense or but what I've seen in some other cases are people who do that they actually have to podcast under a pseudonym or under an alternate name or a different personality or whatever so that it cannot get back that this person is affiliated or works with or does something with that company, with that industry. So something really important to think about if you're going to go out there and specifically be whether it's controversial, whether it's what you think is funny, which can very easily cross a line by a lot of people to not be funny or whether you're going to be doing something that is actually a violation of the thing of your terms of employment or affiliation or association. I'll tell you, this comes up a lot with financial folks, right? A lot of folks that we deal with, they have to check in with whether it's the company, the bank that they are affiliated with, or their compliance officer.

Speaker 1 (33:36)

They can't put out certain things in a podcast because it might be a violation of SEC law. Right? It's not necessarily what they're saying is necessarily controversial. They're not offending anybody, but it could just be against the law for them to talk about certain things that are associated with their industry. So it's not just yes, you have free reign to say what you want, but that doesn't mean you have absolute absolution from that's not the word I'm looking for. It doesn't mean you're completely absolved from consequences for your speech and for your show and for the things that you want to put out there.

Speaker 2 (34:14)

The part that I want to switch to is the question, because there's a question that came into my mind that I want to close out our episode today with, because it would be the question I would be left with if I have a podcast on my heart that could be a potential Tim Taylor foot in your mouth special and you maybe don't know what you don't know, which is the most dangerous thing in podcasting, which normally you can get away with and just figure it out and learn as you go. But this one, you don't want to learn those lessons after or learn them after. What resource or advice would you have to go? Discover Boundaries Is there a place that you would think to start? If you're worried about the boundaries of doing this podcast where you don't know what you don't know, what would be some of those first critical steps too? I know you talk about the career one. That one is an easy one. Is there any other basic advice to understand these boundaries before starting a podcast like this?

Speaker 1 (35:06)

No. I mean, it really is going to be a case by case basis depending on what are the things that govern or impact or influence your life. And in many cases, that is our jobs or our affiliation, right? Maybe you are affiliated with a Church or a nonprofit or some other type of community group. Maybe you serve on the board of that group, maybe you're a chair or volunteer or whatever. And so when you put that stuff out there, your affiliation to those things can come back and get you. So I don't think there is a one stop shop for what is the right answer, where is the right place to go, what is right and what is wrong? I think it takes a lot of common sense. I think you just have to know that if you are worried about it then you probably need to think twice about it.

Speaker 2 (36:09)

That's quotable right there. If you worry about it, then you should think twice about it.

Speaker 1 (36:13)

Yeah. If you have a bit of hesitation, there's probably a reason why you have that hesitation. You should go talk to someone, figure it out, or make sure what you're doing is not going to hurt you or bite you in the butt later on down the road. Again, if you are governed by some sort of regulatory agency. Right. Depending on where you work or what you do, if you are employed, if you have employee contracts, handbooks, a lot of things that we do are via terms and conditions. Right. If you have signed terms and conditions for the way you are living your life, then you need to think about those and consult with those people who administer those terms and conditions to you and make sure that doing this is not going to hurt you. And it actually kind of takes me to a slightly different question that I want to finish out, I'll be curious to say, because I kind of violated it without even thinking about it. And I don't know if we've done this a lot on the show, I truly can't remember. But the question that comes up a lot for me is always, should I curse on my show?

Speaker 1 (37:19)

Is it better or worse to have explicit content on my show? Is it okay to curse on my show? Right. Like, what are the ramifications of doing that? And so I'll give you just some of the key points that we've come across as we've dealt with clients who do this. And you take this information with however you want to take it. But the benefits of doing your show clean, no cursing. And when we say cursing, we're really talking about like the George Carlin seven, dirty words you can't say in television. Right. Like that kind of cursing. You want to throw a damn out there. I don't give a damn. Maybe your community might, but no one really policing this stuff is probably going to. But if you do a clean show. Right, like you can reach a limitless audience. There's no restrictions. You don't have to Mark your show as explicit. You can make it available for kids, maybe. Right. And you're not limited, by the way, in what markets you could put your show into. And you'll understand what I mean by that in just a moment and listen, depending on who your audience is, that might make the most sense.

Speaker 1 (38:28)

If you have a very broad general audience and you want to reach parents who might be listening to your content with kids in the car, or you want to reach an age range that maybe overlaps with some late teenage years and you don't want to be a bad influence, stay clean. Right. There is little technical downside to keeping your show clean. On the other hand, what can happen if you decide to let it go, curse your brains out and have to go down that route. So one, you can put your content out there with curse words or like record your content with curse words and then decide later, we're going to bleep it, we're going to edit it out, we're going to replace it with some sort of sound effect. And that might be a good way to do it. Truthfully, I think there is some humor and I think there is a little bit of extra enjoyment when we don't actually hear the words, but we know that they are there. And if you want to do that, then you are able to Mark your show as clean and not have to worry about it.

Speaker 1 (39:34)

Or you can. Maybe your show is mostly clean and once in a while, right, something pops up or a guest is on there. Like, I can't control this person. Or maybe you talk about a topic that's just a little bit more sensitive than what you're used to doing. In that case, I might just say throw an audio Disclaimer in the front of it. Right? Hey, listen, we normally do a very clean show here, but this week our guest was very passionate and some things happened. If you're worried about children here in Wisconsin, like maybe this is not the episode for you, blah, blah, blah, and you'll be fine doing it that way. So now the question becomes like, what happens if you want to have cursing, if you want to have expletives, if you want to go into dark content and just let it fly. So one very easily every podcast host allows you to Mark your show and or your episodes as explicit. Here's what I'm going to tell you, though, about marking an episode as explicit is once you Mark an episode as explicit, you have basically marked your show as explicit. And why that matters is because there are certain podcast markets.

Speaker 1 (40:45)

China, I want to say, is one of them. India is another one. A few of the stands out there, right? Pakistan, Afghanistan. Once a show carries the explicit tag, your show will not show up in their podcast store. It doesn't matter if you undo it, right? Once you've marked an episode or your show is explicit, for example, you won't be listed in India. Indian residents, if they want to subscribe to your feed, they can get it, but it's just not something they're going to be able to search for in the Apple podcasting store. So that's one concern that you might have with the explicit tag and probably the one that is most concerning. Obviously, you throw the explicit tag and then you're going to have folks who were like, yeah, my kids aren't allowed to listen to this or I don't listen to this or whatever. They're not going to show up in a kid's search for this. So you have possibly limited your audience a little bit might be a problem, again, depending on what your content is. Listen, if you're a 50 year old finance manager talking about what you're going to do with your retirement, not a lot of twelve year olds are worried about their IRA just yet.

Speaker 1 (41:45)

So you're probably not missing out too much of your target audience in that case. So have at it. And what are the benefits? Listen, there are people who like the release. There are people who enjoy listening to the unfiltered the fun, right? Joe Rogan is very unfiltered, very explicit, has a ton of listeners. There's something to it. We are so accustomed to clean, sanitized content coming through our radios, coming off our television, that the fact that we can go into the podcast store and find content about anything by anyone saying whatever they like is kind of a nice thing. And I'll admit there are shows that are explicit that I enjoy partially because of that piece of it. And there are shows that have the like I said earlier, they bleep it out or they throw a sound effect in there, or they drop the curse where I'm like, oh, I know what they were trying to say. I'm like, I enjoy that as well. So it's not just an easy decision of am I going to Mark my show explicit or not? There there's a few factors to think about, and you really just have to think about, like we said, with so many things on podcasting, is who is your target audience?

Speaker 1 (42:52)

What is it you expect them? What is it that they expect? And are you driving your target audience away by going down this route? And then, of course, are you worried about not being listed in a few markets? You're probably not picking up a ton of listeners in China anyway. But maybe you do a show that does need to be in that market. And so being explicit is a big problem for you.

Speaker 2 (43:15)

Have you ever seen the show The Good Place?

Speaker 1 (43:17)

I have not, although I've been told many times I should watch it.

Speaker 2 (43:20)

Oh, you should definitely watch it because it reminded me of how they deal with curse words. So there is this Lady, I can't think of her name. She's a well popular actress, but she gets into The Good Place and she thinks that there's no way I was a good person, that I should not be in The Good Place, which is known as heaven. And so once you're in The Good Place, you can't swear. And so while you were talking about that, I decided to Google some of the square words that they switched out in that movie or in that TV show. And so if you're in The Good Place and you need to say the F word, you are automatically. And she gets really frustrated because she can't swear and she really wants to. Every time she wants to say the F word, it automatically comes out as what the fork or the S word is, man shirt. And they just have these swaps for all these unique words that we're often used to hearing. And the way the whole show sets it up, it reminds me of how, again, it brings humor to it, but yet it acknowledges that it's there and forever.

Speaker 2 (44:17)

I'll remember what the fork because it's funny, it's humorous, and you could almost have it as a thing with your podcast. Also, I think the other part that you hinted on there is understanding, whoever you are that should come through on the podcast. Like, there's kind of like an idea that I buy to that. If you were to meet me on the street and I swear like a truck driver, and I don't swear like a truck driver on the podcast, I'm not being who I am. And so to me, you should meet the version of me on the street as the same person in the podcast. I'm not maybe always thinking like that, but I'm always kind of calibrating. I want to be the same person that you would run into me on the street. And if I casually swear in the street or when you casually talk to me, I'm going to casually swear here because I want that person to feel the same and authentic version. And when we talked about steel chips being authentic, you want that version of you, because if you're trying to be someone else, you're going to get stale with the idea because you don't get excited being who you are.

Speaker 2 (45:10)



I mean, kind of like to that analogy, right?

Speaker 1 (45:13)

Your good podcasters always sound like they're in the backseat of your car having.


A conversation while you're driving down the road.

Speaker 1 (45:20)

You just get to be a part of it. Right? So if I'm the kind of person if I was sitting in your car and I was letting the swear words fly throughout the entire thing, then I go to do my podcast and I'm all printed properly. Like, this isn't the guy who I'm looking for, right? Like, this is just not the same personality that I'm going for.

Speaker 2 (45:36)

Or maybe you hold them to a higher moral code because he doesn't swear on his podcast and you meet him in person and he's like, he's a real a hole, right?

Speaker 1 (45:44)

Yeah. You're like, oh, that was a real problem.

Speaker 2 (45:46)

He traced people like, garbage over there. I just saw him light up that part. That poor waitress with the F word. You want to make sure that your true, authentic self. And to me, those getting caught in, like, what you should do and what you shouldn't like, man, it's a trap for podcasters. But I like what you gave us, their closing out this interview because it gave us permission to be us except who we are. But the whole episode really allowed us to establish boundaries. And I'll give you one final plug that if you were looking to understand those boundaries. Matthew again, has a wide perspective on a lot of different podcasts he's been in and even has war stories from the trenches of why this is important. And even those can help you guard. Because I think there was one tool that came to my mind when you were talking about essentially the boundaries and protection almost having like a whiteboard or a mind map that has all the different entities within your life, like your finances. And even you could also mention never underestimate checking in with your wife to make sure or your partner to make sure that they're okay with what you're going to say because that's the association that counts the most and you do not want to get canceled by that for something that you're getting ready to start.

Speaker 2 (46:51)

So having this mind map of like the lay of the land to be able to see the big picture. And when you add an Advertiser and add it into your mind map, so that way you can kind of always see the thoughts that pop in my head was what's the cost if this thing were to crash? And that's a very difficult question to answer in your head. So having a map outside your head, I think they could really keep you calibrated. Like, you know what? There's a lot to lose here. We got three advertisers here, we've got four employees over here. This thing has legs, and it actually matters that we do the right thing consistently.

Speaker 1 (47:25)

I'm going to leave you with one thing. You brought up the whole good place stuff and all the curse words they use. I tend to have a very loose tongue, luckily, having worked in radio. Like, I'm very good at knowing when I'm not allowed to curse and when I'm allowed to. And I'm really good around my kids. But I've got to say, I love the show Bluey, Disney plus little short cartoon for kids. And one of my favorite things to say when I'm really angry and want a curse when I can is biscuits. And truthfully, I even hear my kids saying biscuits and I'm like, I'm pretty sure my daughter just said Ah, fat, but she used the word biscuit if you hear me say that.

Speaker 2 (48:08)

Hopefully she's not repeating at the she.

Speaker 1 (48:11)

Might be, but most of her friends have probably watched it too, so they know exactly what's going on.

Speaker 2 (48:16)

I always like those substitutes too. And then I always get worried as I start swapping them. And I'm like, it's so good and funny and cute. But man, if you go in public and do that, you're going to start getting looks and I'm going to get a look and a phone call. And then it's like, that was the only short list. But I love Bluey as well. And if there's ever a show that makes a dad feel lazy, even on his best day of trying, Bluey will definitely make your sheet like how are.

Speaker 1 (48:37)

We supposed to dad of the year? Right there.

Speaker 2 (48:41)


Speaker 1 (48:42)


Speaker 2 (48:44)

Exactly. That's how you close that out there. Well, Matthew, thank you for another episode and I think we Dove into an area that hopefully protects a lot of podcasters and made some things to think in a different way to make sure they keep podcasting, that it's not something that has to come tumbling down one day. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (49:00)

Listen, be you just don't be a jerk about it.

Speaker 2 (49:03)

I love it. I already lost your quotable moment. What was the quote?

Speaker 1 (49:07)

If you think for a second it's a problem, you should probably reconsider.