Transcript for "Audience - with Elisa Graf"

(Interactive content will replace this message when viewed in the Forum.)

Craig Constantine 0:01
Hello, I’m Craig Constantine, and I’m here with Alisa Graf. Welcome Elisa. Thank you nice. Can you can you say how do you say it? Is it my saying it right

Elisa Graf 0:09
at Lisa and Lisa? Yeah, yeah. Actually it depends on what country you’re in. Because of course, you know, I live in Germany and they say it a little differently. But I’m American. So

Craig Constantine 0:20
one bullet dodge. Elisa is both a writer and an editor and has recently fairly recently, actually not that recently started a podcast called mystic takeaway. If you want to tell me quickly about what that like, maybe what’s the like, Why, what’s your why for doing that?

Elisa Graf 0:38
Well, I’m really very interested in esoteric philosophy. And actually, I’m really love stories about the transcendent and the everyday world colliding, and the surprise and joy and wonder that ensues when that happens. And so I showcase extraordinary stories of mysterious encounters miraculous healings, and things like that. So I love interviewing people from all over the world. And I’m having a lot of fun with my podcasts.

Craig Constantine 1:05
Not I think that clearly shows, we were talking before we started, you mentioned you have, and you said only 12. I think 12 is awesome. Most people don’t make it past seven. So congratulations on that. But as you said, you’re fairly new to this. And in this particular podcast, if people want to know more about you, or they want know more about your show, or things we talked about, they can just go to forum dot podcast or community, and we’ll put this will be up there with a player. And what I thought we would talk about today is statistics. And what does it mean in listener counts. And these are things that come up a lot with people who start podcasting, they quickly realize there’s a whole bunch of numbers that you can see, but what are those numbers mean? What numbers should you be shooting for him? So in these podcast episodes here, I’m trying to pick one topic, and then we’ll kind of talk about that one thing, and we can always come back another day for something else. So where do we want to start with statistics you want to maybe give me your When was the first moment you realize that downloads were something that you could actually keep track of? Or what surprised you first about stats?

Elisa Graf 2:10
Well, you know, I, obviously, when you open a Simplecast account, they have this little section called analytics, and then they tell you, wow, all these countries that are listening, potentially, I mean, a download isn’t necessarily a listen, but I assume it’s pretty good chance that people are listening to your podcasts if they download it. So they show you like, what the numbers are, what time of day, the podcasts most popular, most often downloaded, and, and also which players they’re being downloaded on, and what percentage, you know. So obviously, Apple podcasts is at the top all the time. But I’ve, I’ve gone back and forth between being addicted to looking at that. And basically trying to keep it out of my sight for like a week at a time.

Elisa Graf 2:58
You know, but because obviously you don’t want to be making a podcast thinking that that’s all that matters is whether you know, I mean, I’m just grateful that I have more than one person listening. And, but it is kind of fun to think that you’ve made something that’s actually getting heard in South Africa or places where you’d have never been so that’s kind of fun.

Craig Constantine 3:18
There’s a big the technology behind what the stats mean, there is a I don’t know what it means it’s IAB… like International Association of Broadcasters or something. There’s an IAB that got together and started really specifically deciding like a listen is defined as they get more than two minutes and in like, it’s a rabbit hole of details, which I haven’t even looked at. So that stuff’s all out there. And that matters. If your show, if you’re going to try and sell advertising, then you know, we need to have apples to compare to Apple. So I get all that, but I’m with you. I don’t want to. I don’t want to overthink it. So a couple of things that springs to mind is I did an experiment It started as I wonder what would happen if and it started. I started in March of 2020. I didn’t start it because of the pandemic but it was just like, oh, while I’m holed up in my house, I might as well. So I started a podcast, which is quotes, and I have a ridiculous collection of quotes. It’s a problem. But I have all these quotes. So I started just recording when you’re like 60/72 long, something’s there. 10 seconds long. And it’s just me saying Hello, I’m Craig. This is a bit of a and I just read the quote. And then if I had no, it’s the attribution, I say that. And that’s the end of the show. And I batch them, I do them in bunches. And my test was what would happen if I put up a podcast at the exact same time of day, every single day for 365 days and did absolutely nothing else. Just put it out there. So I submitted it, it was it’s in Spotify and apple and all the directories. And the answer is it’s now about coming up on 500 days and just I’ve kept going after a year and it’s coming up 116 1000 downloads, Wow, I’ve done I’ve done nothing with it. There’s no advertising. It’s not there’s no website for it. It’s just the biggest download is in Pandora, by far. Oh, that sounds like what happened. And I think what’s happening is different types of podcasts are have different popularities in the different platforms. So I’m thinking there must be somewhere I don’t use Pandora, there must be like a curated station of inspirational quotes, or I’m hoping they’re inspirational quotes. And it must have gotten in there. And it must have to do with sharing, like, I get spikes where there’ll be four or 500 downloads in a day. No kidding on this thing. Now I’m like, Huh, I mean, like, somebody will download every one of the episodes. So the one thing that I noticed was like, yeah, we all as podcasters. We know who the big players are in publishing, but there are still surprises. So I think you might want to might want to think or look more carefully at which platforms you’re sorry, I should say, one, you know, those of you who are listening, one might want to pay closer attention to the platform spread like is your podcast, typical? Yeah, Apple’s got two thirds. And then it’s Spotify. Because I got mine, I was completely surprised by what happened. So I think your comment about what countries are people downloading and and what time of day I go this thing in the morning in the evening, though, and on what platform that may be more interesting than how many people do I think are listening because it actually tells me more about who might be listening. And so as just an insight that I had about one experiment that I’ve tried,

Elisa Graf 6:35
that’s really cool. I mean, you know, I think it’s, as I said, I think it’s really good not to actually think too much about it. Because, obviously, you know, my motivation for making the podcast, there’s so many reasons why I’m doing it that are not about how many people are gonna listen to it. But at the same time, of course, it’s kind of fun to think. And I do get people that I know, I mean, I think most of the people that are listening are probably people that I know, that are part of the network that I’m part of, which is has to do with meditation. And so I do get people now and then pinging me and telling me, Oh, I love, I love all your episodes. I’ve been listening since the beginning, things like that. So I’m getting feedback from people, mostly that I know. But recently, I tried a little experiment where my daughter was my guest, and she has a lot of friends. And I, I put up a post on Facebook with her photograph, because I think Facebook actually slows down the algorithm if they think you’re selling something, but you’re not paying for it or something, because I put these up before, and I didn’t get anywhere. And so this time, I just put a photograph of her and just the link to the to her episode. And I have had so much volume since then. And I tagged her, of course. So all her friends are listening. I was just curious to see what would happen, you know, so I suddenly had like, you know, 100 downloads in a week, which is kind of rare for me.

Craig Constantine 7:59
Right? I mean, that’s, that’s awesome. But when you know, like, I know what usually happens when I drop an episode and you do you try one thing and something else happens. And it makes it really clear like well, it’s probably there’s a correlation is probably from that. I love… I love that you mentioned that because a lot of people talk about that people were podcasters talk about using social networks to post like a video clip from their show. And it’s it shows that it does work like you clearly had a good choice for photo and tagging made a difference and that that clearly performed for you in that case. And I think what, what also works is when your guests share it, but I’ve found after hundreds I’ve found that it’s really hard to get a guest to share your show. I mean, if they’re if they’re doing the they call the press junket, like if they publish the book? Oh, yeah. And of course they share they share everything, but generally and I kind of understand why I mean, it’s, it’s a bit of a you know, they’re putting their name in behind your work. And I also think they’re a little if if I do an hour and a half recording with you, and then I say here share this to Elisa, the first thing you think is I got to listen to all of it to make sure I don’t sound like an idiot, right? So now you got to find an hour and a half and maybe you normally listen to my show and you enjoyed the conversation, but you don’t want to hear it again. I have imposter syndrome when I hear myself. So it’s like a big ask just for that personal Hill for the guests to get over that.

Elisa Graf 9:33
Yeah. It’s totally true. Actually, one of my guests. He said some things in our episode that I didn’t know were uncomfortable for him. And then he didn’t want to share it. We finally came around after it was published to tell me Oh, I really wish I hadn’t said that. Because if it gets around to one of my friends, they’re gonna be upset. So it was you know, is a pretty important story. It was actually but it wasn’t that hard for me to take those details out. So I want So I knew I said, I’ll just go back and I’ll scrub them. And I’ll just put it back up again. Yeah, replace the audio file. Yeah. And so in, he was so grateful. And after that, you know, I got a lot more listens on that particular one. So I think he did pass it around after that. Yeah. But it’s hard. It’s right. He didn’t want to listen to it. I don’t think he wanted to listen to him. He had regrets about what he’d said. And then it literally was a period of a month or something. So it took some time before we ironed that out that he finally told me and then I was able to fix it. And then it took him a long time to listen to that. So it’s a process.

Craig Constantine 10:34
I do occasionally. I personally think that, alright, you’re always gonna have followers who subscribe to your show and listen to everything that you do. Like, you’re always gonna have fans. But setting aside those people who are the diehards, they listen, everything, I could hide the podcast under a rock, they would find it, setting aside those people. I think most people who listen to podcasts are listening to one episode. I have episodes that are like five years old, and people are still downloading. I’m like, I have like 15 downloads of Episode 12. I’m like, Huh, I can’t even remember, like, I had to go look, oh, was that. And I think what’s happening is, as you do more and more episodes and build that body of work, then those pieces in the back catalogue, unless you’re doing a show, that is very time, you know, like the Daily News. But like the stories that you’re sharing, those sit there and they don’t, they don’t have a half life, they don’t deteriorate, people are going to find the topic that you talked about where they’re going to find that particular person. And they’ll listen to that two years from now or three years from now. And I really think that that’s where the experimental podcast I mentioned, the downloads are spread all over. It’s not like I get seven or eight downloads in the first 24 hours on that podcast. It’s tiny. But when I look at the most common episode, I was like, why is this episode have 400 downloads and it’s a, it’s just people are listening to that one, which ironically, is a quote from my mother, oh, my God, that’s great. Which I didn’t attribute to her cuz she must have got it from somewhere. But the quote is, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. That’s number one. And I think people are sharing it. So I think, you know, you and I have hit on this thing of like, yeah, you have to do the work yourself. You have to, you know, share your own things in a way that you think is appropriate and meaningful for what you’re sharing. Don’t rely on your guests don’t expect that just because you landed a really popular guest, you can sit on their coattails. And, and don’t underestimate how valuable the work is, even when it’s sitting out there. For years I that continues to surprise me.

Elisa Graf 12:41
That’s so fascinating. Actually. I’m meeting people now that I ran into somebody in the grocery store who said, you know, when I told her that I were doing a podcast, she looked it up, and she’s been listening to every single episode now. So it’s like it is happening that people hear one, they like it, and then they go back and listen to the older ones. So my first episode has about 170 downloads on it, which makes me really happy, you know, to know that people are listening to the first one, because it’s where I describe what i what i why I was inspired to do the podcast. But yeah, I mean, it’s just, it’s amazing, really the whole idea, this medium of finding your voice, and then ship putting something that you really care about out there in the world, and having it have its own life, you know, actually, it’s, it’s having its impact, just as you said, it has no half life it could go on for for a long time. It’s very, very cool. The whole thing. I keep thinking for mine, I keep thinking that maybe you have some ideas, because you’ve been doing this now for so long, about the best way, the best way to kind of like, because I mean, you know, people set up an Instagram account, and then they broadcast it there. And then also on Twitter and all these various places. I have no idea what to do with the marketing.

Craig Constantine 13:58
My My opinion is, and I have I have done some experiments to try and back this up to see whether I’m right. But my opinion is, it’s really really difficult to get someone to change mediums. So if they are in their podcast player app, they are not like in terms of how they are thinking they are not on Facebook, they are not in the mode of mowing the lawn or whatever. Like they listen in a certain space, read a comfy chair and a cup of tea. And that’s not the space that they want to serve social networks so it’s not in so anytime you ask or expect someone to shift. So for example, if you put what do they call it when you make an audiogram make an audiogram you know fake visual to go with your audio and stick it up on Instagram. Those those kind of worked for us if we put up an audiogram we were doing it on unintentional lag like wait two episodes put like the third one back in an audiogram. And yeah, it would generate an extra 40 downloads and You can see it like there’s a bump, you’re like, Okay, clearly some people because there’s you can’t even link right in on Instagram, some people will shift, but compared to the I think I have, like 600 followers on Instagram, you know, okay is that five 7%. But it’s really not like they all they all love movies mindset, but they press the like button when I post images, but they don’t all jump on that other episode. So I really think it’s, if you’re going to, let’s say you’re gonna go into Facebook or Instagram, if you’re going to do that, you need to have a specific reason why you’re doing that don’t do it. Just because you think, well, if I also put my content there, it will draw additional, you know, ears to my podcast, it will draw some, but there’s a lot of work you got to put into Instagram or if you go into Twitter, or medium or wherever you want to go. So that’s, that’s the only thing that I had my opinion is, it’s really hard to get people to cross from one, you know, take this survey, almost nobody does, you know, or support us on Patreon, like, almost nobody does, they have to really be motivated. So for me, it’s just when people ask me questions like that, I’m like, okay, only take on the things that you have the energy to do, and that you’re going to do well, and that, that you’re gonna get some personal like, I really love Instagram. So I really want to be on there. Because otherwise you’re just adding another, you know, crank that you got to turn on regular basis. And podcasting is we all know those of us who podcast is already, it’s a grind. I mean, no matter how much you love your show and love your guests and love your stories, there’s only like 40 minutes between record and stop. And there’s hours and hours and hours on either side. So totally true.

Elisa Graf 16:35
totally true. What do you think about the ratings thing? On an apple? Do you have any thoughts about that? Um,

Craig Constantine 16:41
I, you know, the only thoughts I have on that I’ve gotten from other people. I highly recommend anybody read pod news, pod ne Ws pod I believe it is. It’s James cred Lynn’s website newsletter email. So anything I know about ratings comes from reading articles that he writes or that he refers to. And I think the issue I have with ratings of any kind is there’s always going to be a motive for whoever did the ratings. So you know, Nielsen, back in TV, they had a reason they were doing it and Apple, you know, they’re they’re not serving the show landlords, they’re their product, those ratings are designed to get more people to go, I love podcast, you know, because they open the app, and the thing that it recommended was awesome for them. It has nothing to do with, you know, making Craig or Lisa, you know, money or enjoyment or any it’s. So I always try to zoom out when I see ratings like number one show and then I’m like, yeah, who rated that? Why are they keeping? You know, America’s top 40 music count that like what, what is this? What is it for? And when I do that, it’s never for me. So like, okay, I you know, I don’t? I’m not gonna, if I’ve never appeared on any rating anywhere. Yeah, I mean, like, yeah, I’m not. If I was on the top of that, I’m not sure what would happened, my server would probably fall over. You know, I don’t. It’s not what I mean, like, oh, first world problem with a whole different issue. So I really think for me, you know, the kind of the symbiotic other side to the question you asked me as well. Okay, great. What does? You know? What are you interested in? If it’s not ratings and downloads, and when it’s when people come up to me and talk to me about the show, I have had a handful, like maybe five at most situations where I tend to go to these big events where people get together and train physically. And I’ll be in a group of like, 500 people, and somebody will randomly walk up to me and say, I love that episode with I love when they tell me which person they like, because then I go, you know, they’re here. They’re like, right over here. Because that’s what I love seeing. I love seeing people. Like if I catch people talking about the show, oh, that’s Nirvana. I don’t go over. I’m just like, that’s awesome. You know, that’s, I let him down. You know, I love that. And somebody walked up to me at like, a friendsgiving. You know, we have a Thanksgiving thing, not on Thanksgiving, and invite all your friends do a friendsgiving. And I was just standing around, and somebody walked in the door. And I just happened to say, Hello, you know, and he went, Oh, like, actually recognize the way I say hello. And it was, I was like, that’s awesome. Oh my god. Like, that’s how intimate the medium is. That to me is I love the one on one. When I bump into people, or when I see them doing what I hope they do, which is learn more about the guests feel more comfortable talking to the guest go talk to the guest.

Elisa Graf 19:30
Yeah, that’s really cool. I mean, I totally agree. In my case, it’s the same. It’s like, I get these personal notes from people telling me how much they enjoyed the episode and, or they loved hearing this story or that story. And it’s, it’s so gratifying. It’s just nothing better.

Craig Constantine 19:48
Terrific. I use that word a lot. But it was terrific. I really enjoyed talking to Lisa and as I said, before we started recording we can totally do more of these. But I think that’s a great place to wrap up. Yeah, sounds good. All right, thanks. Thanks. Bye