Should You Do A Live Podcast Show?
So you’ve been doing a podcast and you’re feeling really comfortable with the content and your cohosts (if you have them), and you’re starting to look around for next steps and additional ways to make revenue. Is it time for you to do a live podcast show?
Live shows – also called live podcast tapings – are a GREAT way to interact with your audience, get some social media traction within your listeners’ personal networks, and bring in additional revenue. Doing a live show really isn’t that different from doing one in your studio (or at home or wherever you record); it’s just now you’re on a stage in front of people doing the show and there are unique opportunities for audience participation and new revenue streams. So, should you do a live taping? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of doing a show at a venue.
As with any live show (comedy, music, etc.), you can sell tickets to your live taping. You are, after all, giving your audience a show and there will be some costs to cover on the backend (usually for sound engineering and venue) but despite the overhead, you can still turn a great profit. Price your tickets according to your venue size and popularity. First, check your podcast audience analytics; do you have a big enough audience in the city where you plan on hosting the event? Find your venue accordingly and remember, you don’t have to sell out a huge music venue. Pionaire Podcast Broadly Speaking has hosted two sold out live tapings; the first at The Woodlands Project at SweetWater Brewery (a major Atlanta brewer) with a capacity of about 60 people and then later a larger show at another venue that was twice the size with a capacity of 120. As for tickets, we’ve seen them in the range of $20 per ticket to $60 per ticket for larger shows depending on the success of the show. If you’re unsure, start out on the lower end, but make sure you’re covering your costs.
Design some t-shirts, coozies, pint glasses, or whatever you think will hit home with your audience, set up a table, and sell some merchandise! Don’t have a logo, never mind know how to design a t-shirt? Check out websites like Fiverr or Upwork for quick graphic design work, and websites like Canva make it easy for you to create your own designs by providing templates.
There are even sponsorship opportunities you can attach to the taping; you can have a business sponsor the entire show that day and package both audio ads, social media and physical representation (think signage) around the venue. A great example of this in action is Pionaire’s podcast In The Moement, which will be doing a live taping at Legends Distillery. Legends Distillery is part of all publicity as the venue host AND the alcohol up for sale at the event will be – you guessed it – Legends brand. Not only does the client benefit from sales in the physical form, they’ll have an influx of new potential clients to sample their wares AND they’ll also have indefinite advertising with “baked in” mentions when the hosts mention them in the podcast (as opposed to dynamic ads which are inserted and then “expire” after a certain time frame). Whether you’re a podcast or a business, these kinds of sponsorship opportunities are something Pionaire can help with.
PODCAST PUBLICITY OPPORTUNITIES
Remember that merchandise table we talked about? T-shirts are a fantastic way to accomplish subtle advertising because your listeners will wear them out and can act as your “ambassadors” if asked about it. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth advertising – your listeners are some of your best advertisers, especially if they really love the show. And if they’re buying tickets to see you AND merch, they really love your show.
You know what people love to do? Post their experiences on social media. Whether it’s a selfie with friends, a video short of you doing the show or a pic with you after the show during a meet and greet session (and yes, you should be prepared to hang out and take those pictures with listeners after the show), every post is an opportunity to get YOUR podcast name in front of that listener’s personal social network of friends. They’re likely to have some of the same interests, so you’re legitimately tapping into an audience of people who are pre-vetted to like your content, and it’s coming from an influencer within that network. So be prepared to come up with a hashtag for the night so that every Facebook post, Instagram story, Tweet, or TikTok gets branded with YOUR podcast name.
WHAT YOU NEED
VENUE + AUDIO
After you find your venue, find out what sound capacity they have. Have they done audio-based events before? If they have, there’s a good chance they already have audio equipment in place that you can use OR know a vendor who can come in and set it up for you. If not, you’ll need to find an A/V tech to set up your mics, a computer (to record your podcast to so you can post it), and speakers. Make sure the speakers work with the venue and that the acoustics are good so that everyone can hear you properly.
ADVERTISING + TICKET SALES
Once you’ve agreed to a ticket revenue split with your venue, have signed with them and secured your A/V set up, you can start advertising. The best place to do this is obviously your podcast, but don’t forget to hit up all your social networks and if you have the budget, run ads targeting listeners in the market where you’re holding your show. Many venues equipped to handle shows will also have ticket sale capabilities. If not, you’ll need to set up a way to sell tickets. Square is a method we’ve seen used successfully – you can see it in action with In The Moement’s live taping.
MERCH + SPONSORSHIPS
Get your merchandise in place if you plan on selling it and secure any sponsorship packages.
Remember, hosting a live show doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and it can be done for a smaller audience just as successfully as a large show at a large venue. It’s a fantastic way to make extra revenue and connect with your listeners while securing some extra publicity within those listener networks. It’s a win-win-win all around.