If you are new to podcasting or internet radio and you are in podcasting groups on facebook you might see links to this page with claims that they can, for a fee, help you with your podcast production and marketing, including internet marketing/branding. But then you go to the page and you see their own promotional images, which look like this.
You might also notice posts like this from the fella who runs the above mentioned consulting service, mad that others have gotten in on his grift.
And then you might listen to the podcast itself. If you have turned your skeptical eye to this matter, it might be 100% clear to you that this person is probably not an “expert” and you probably should not pay for their services. But not everyone is as skeptical (okay cynical) as this not-so-humble podcast producer and mediocre blogger. For those people, let me lend you my my skeptical eye lest you waste your time and a little bit (or a fucking lot) of your money looking for some kind of magic bullet solution to help your show become popular.
Some of the groups, like this one are even run by such an entity or person. Cut The Bullshit indeed. Here’s a screencap of one of the “expert” services offered by the proprietors of this group that ostensibly “cuts the bullshit”.
$750 fucking dollars to talk to you twice for an hour about your podcast and then allow you to participate in 8 group conversations about podcasting. This is not a joke, it’s real. The site looks much more legitimate than the first example, but alas, this too is just some fucking snake oil. Rather expensive snake oil if I do say so myself. For $750 dollars you can buy yourself a Focusrite 18i20 USB Interface and 3x Shure SM58 microphones with a little money left over to buy some cables or stands or something. Or you can talk to these con artists twice for an hour and have 8 group chats with other suckers such as yourself. Your call. If you cannot afford to pay it all right now, don’t worry, they will charge you what amounts to usurious interest to spread the payments over the course of 3 months, how magnanimous of them.
As you can see, this character wants to try to help you get advertisers. He also wants fully ¼ of the revenue from said advertisers. Pretty steep if you ask me. But hey, when your only intent is to extract money from people who don’t know any better, why not aim high.
You might also notice this guy around. He claims to be a millionaire and a best selling author, but in fact he is looking for 5 people to extract money from in the near future by giving you important information like “how to use a hashtag” and “what colors don’t look like shit on your logo”. Valuable information, at a low low price!
And of course we all know teamwork can be a valuable tool, so he’s got someone who he works with to try to help you learn about the #hashtag.
These 2 have a bit of a reputation though. When we criticized Nicky B for being a bit of a fraudster with a bit of a reputation, he inboxed a couple of us and was acting, in our opinion, a little creepy in messages to one of the ladies in our organization. She posted about it in the podcast group our last podcast article referenced and got this response from someone we’d never interacted with previously.
None of these people are experts. It’s a grift. A scam. Podcasters as a “demographic” are seen as folks with some disposable income. Most of us do have some of that otherwise we wouldn’t be spending money on the gear, hosting, and other odds and ends that go into creating our shows. It should come as no surprise that there are people trying to extract money from podcasting groups, especially from people who are just starting out and are unsure of how to proceed. As a person who does his level best to try to share what I know with others because it’s a nice thing to do, this is a bit unconscionable to me.
There are dozens if not hundreds more examples of this available but I feel like I’ve made my point here, and probably gotten members of this network kicked out of the podcast group I mentioned earlier in this article. Totally worth it.
Speaking of being kicked out of podcast groups, the next salty article in this series will be about how there is open hostility to the notion that you would be well served to learn about the technology you are using for your podcast or internet radio show in many of these podcast help/support groups. I ran a poll and over half of the people in one of the groups who responded said that it was either not very important or not important at all to know how your computer handles audio. No joke. Cuz learning is a waste of time, but spending hours in a group chat with other thirsty podcasters who will do anything (including spending $750 for “expert” advice) to try to gain listeners is totally a good use of your time.