Who am I, and what qualifies me to give advice?

Hi there, I’m Tanner. I live in Denver, Colorado and, for a living, I consult with mid-sized to large businesses on their audio-related media. In addition to this I advise for a startup called Ghostcast. Prior to this I’ve owned recording studios, and worked professionally in podcasting from 2015-2021. Prior to that, I worked in IT and created a few Top 100 podcasts in the Literature and Philosophy categories.

There are many podcast experts out here on the web, and some of them are worth listening to – but am I? What qualifies me to be trusted as an educational resource within the space of general media, podcasting media, and podcast marketing?

I think in order to call oneself a “podcast expert”, one must have demonstrable expertise in five areas: Audio Engineering, Podcast Production, Podcast Marketing, Podcast Monetization, and Podcast Growth. What experience do I have in these areas?

Audio Engineering: Between 2015 and 2021 I’ve accrued more than 12,000 hours of audio editing and engineering experience across podcasts, audio books, and film. I also owned and operated a brick and mortar recording studio during this time and served clients like MEMIC, The Washington Post, CNN, Dipsea, Remax, and Rowman & Littlefield

Podcast Production: Between 2013 and 2021 I have personally had a hand in helping to shape, initially produce, or inform the direction of 983 individual and unique podcasts. Not podcast episodes, podcasts. While this may seem like a ludicrous number (an average of 122 podcasts a year!) it is a true number. As a teacher of many online courses related to podcasting, I interact with hundreds of students every year and help each of them to plan and shape their podcasts. While I did not act in a formal production capacity for all of these students, the offer to co-produce every student’s first episode is a part of my core curriculum, so I did help far more than half. I’ve also produced just over 1100 of my own podcast episodes across all the podcasts I’ve personally created between from 2013 to 2021.

Podcast Marketing: Between 2013 and 2021 I’ve grown over 40 individual podcasts to 10,000+ listeners each. My marketing style leans heavily on paid vs. organic as I do not have, and many people do not have, the patience or runway for organic strategies. I’ve never said they don’t work, only that they tend to take many times as long as paid strategies and that all organic efforts should be augmented, heavily, by paid ones. Facebook is my ads platform of choice.

Podcast Monetization: Between 2018 and 2021 I’ve helped 31 podcasters monetize their podcasts to $10,000 (or more) per month (gross). I’ve done this for myself twice. I define monetization as full-time income replacement. I do not help people make side-hustle money or spending money, that’s not my idea of monetization so when I give advice on monetization it’s probably important to understand that I mean “full-time income” and not “beer money” (not that there’s anything wrong with monetizing for beer money, I’m just saying that was never my goal when I took clients on for “monetization”).

Podcast Growth: My position on growth is nearly identical to my position on marketing. Marketing doesn’t necessarily equal growth, for example it also means maintaining engagement with your existing audience, but part of a side effect of good marketing is growth. In the same way that I lean on paid for marketing, I lean on it for growth as well. I break results down into quarters and generally see 0-10,000 listeners within 8 to 12 months. Organic efforts are used in my strategies, but they are not primary. In general, though this can vary broadly, it has cost clients between $1,000 and $5,000 to grow an audience of this size using my strategies.

And that is the sum total of my experience as a podcaster and someone who serves podcasters. Am I an expert? I’ll leave that up to you as it shouldn’t be me who determines that; it should be you.