I recently had the privilege of being honored by my friends with a special episode of Our Liner Notes for having infiltrated 100 different podcast episodes. The very definition of “Proxycasting,” a term coined by Bill Sweeney of The Wicked Theory Podcast, which means “Palmer doesn’t need his own podcast, he has yours!”
And while that episode was, in fact, my idea, I have no doubts about its origin as a fairly egotistical start, but what happened at the end is worth noting on a very serious level.
The conversation that Chris Maier (host of Our Liner Notes) and I had at the end of a very fun evening of “Palmer, This is YOUR Podcasting Life,” was a discussion about how the 100 came about, to begin with. Also, what it is I do for all these podcasts and their hosts, many of whom I now count on as friends.
Every creative that is putting content out there on the internet is aware that he or she is “shouting into the void.” It just so happens, that for all of those included in my celebratory episode and many more than that to be fair, I was the voice that shouted back from the void.
During the episode, Chris said that I am the reason that people podcast. Now, it isn’t so personal that I, alone, am the target audience. It is simply the matter of my being willing to be the voice shouting back from the void when those creators put their content into the void of the internet looking for some feedback, conversation, and no matter the discourse and above all, engagement, which is the most important metric in marketing and for all creators, even if they aren’t looking to make a dime.
Everyone on the internet is looking to engage. This is a concept that I have come to understand on a very personal level because of this very blog that you are reading right now. There was a time when I was putting out content, and getting views, but I was not hearing from anyone. No replies, comments, or feedback whatsoever.
That’s not to say every post gets engagement, but even one comment or tweeted reply every few posts is enough to keep someone going, and that doesn’t just go for me. While everyone would love instant engagement and feedback all the time, most will admit that any engagement is better than none.
And that is how this whole Proxycasting thing started. I was willing to take the time to shout back from the void, and from there, well, anything can happen. In my case, I was able to become a part of some of these shows, as an on-air guest (over 100 times), as a producer for a few, and on a much more personal level. Some of those discussions and conversations have taken themselves offline, and into my personal life, where I now have some very good friends that are a part of my “inner circle.”
And it was all because I shouted back from the void.
Now, I don’t want to get preachy, but it isn’t hard to be that voice who shouts back. In fact, it’s not something that I invented, it’s just a part of my process of consumption. When I listen to a podcast I tweet along. When I read an article I make an attempt to comment, if not in the post itself than on Twitter, which is my social medium of choice. And it is something that you can do too.
I’m not saying that the result for you will be the same as it has been for me. Not every voice shouting back from the void will return itself with over 100 guest spots on podcasts and more friends and close friends than I ever expected to have. But if it happened to me, it could happen for you.
At the end of the day, all of these creators are looking for engagement, whether they are writing, talking, or doing video. And to that end, you as the audience are that part of the process. All it takes is one comment, just one reply, to make the day of the creator who has intrigued you enough to listen to their episode, watch their video, or read their post.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there as a consumer of content, because if the creators of that content are willing to put themselves out there for you, surely you can take a moment to respond.
So, if you aren’t shouting back? Maybe it is time you start. And if you are… Thank you for engaging. It may not be my content, but it is someone’s “through blood, sweat, and tears” created content, and even if they haven’t said thank you, I can assure you they appreciate it.