Rob Walch, VP Podcaster Relations, Libsyn

Rob Walch is Vice President of Podcaster Relations with Pittsburgh based Liberated Syndication or Libsyn, one of two subsidiaries of Colorado based FAB Universal.

Back in 2004 Libsyn pioneered the system of hosting and publishing podcasts. That’s one year after LinkedIn launched and two years before Twitter was heard of.

In that time, Libsyn has grown to be the world’s largest podcast network, now hosting over 25,000 podcasts and with a monthly audience in excess of 44 million.

Rob has a degree in Engineering from the University of Dayton and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.

He’s had an awesome career to date, with senior roles across a range of companies, as Design Engineer, Product Manager, Director of Business Development, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Director of New Media.

Or you can subscribe via Stitcher Radio or via email.

More about Rob

Rob is President/Founder and host of the one of the best known podcasts, the podCast411 Podcast/Blog. He’s also host of the Today in iOS Podcast /blog, co-host of the Today in Podcasting Podcast, co-host of The Feed Podcast and host of the KC Startup 411 Podcast, which covers the Kansas City Startup Scene.

And he produces his son Porter’s show, Porter’s Podcast.

Rob co-authored the book “Tricks of the Podcasting Masters” and has been podcasting consultant to Gov. Bill Richardson, Senator John Edwards, Dr. Mark Hyman, Tim Ferriss, Jack Welch (the WelchCast) and many others. He’s been a monthly columnist for Blogger and Podcaster Magazine as well as App Developer Magazine, and is the organizer of the Kansas City Podcaster Meetup.

As a fellow member of the Podcasters Community on Google Plus, I am regularly impressed by Rob’s commitment and clarity of explanation in helping people just getting started with podcasting and others who are already podcasting and who are keen to know how to do that more successfully.

Secrets of Survival and Success in a Tough Industry

I asked what was the secret of Libsyn’s success. Rob made the point that first of all Libsyn had survived, in an industry where others had come and gone in the intervening time. He shared five key contributors to their success.

  1. Good, reliable statistics
  2. Reliability of service
  3. RSS feed – easy to manage and reliable
  4. Active participation in the podcasting community and events such as conferences
  5. They are podcasters themselves

Growing Interest in Podcasting

We talked about the growth of interest in podcasting, as illustrated by contrasting the dearth of podcasting sessions at BlogWorld 2008 with the much higher profile of podcasting now, as one of only three main streams in 2016 for BlogWorld’s current incarnation as New Media Expo.

But in terms of business takeup of podcasting, “we’re not there yet”.

To illustrate why we are not there yet but that there are some positive indications of interest, Rob pointed to some statistics in Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing Report 2015. Only 10% of companies surveyed are using podcasting for content creation and engagement, bur 48% of respondents are interested in learning more about it.

The Case for CEO Podcasting and How POTUS Came to the Garage

The crucial question for companies looking at podcasting is “Who is the content for?” Employees, or the customer base?

When companies can’t answer that, they usually don’t get started. If they know exactly who their market for the podcast is, things usually move forward pretty smoothly.

Podcasting is invaluable for leaders who want to do a podcast for their internal employees.

“This is a great opportunity for CEOs, to promote the culture, to promote what’s going on and rally the troops….With podcasting they have this great tool, they can really, really rally their troops. They can get their voice out there, in edited format.”

Even if they don’t see themselves as very good speakers.

We talked about the great story of how the White House sought an invitation for President Obama (POTUS) to go on the podcast show WTF with Mark Maron and the President chose to come to Mark’s garage to have the conversation.

What a boost for anyone wanting to help business leaders begin to understand the potential of podcasting!

Keeping Leaders Up at Night

Rob said what should be keeping business leaders up at night is paranoia. About what’s happening next.

The alternative is complacency, and “complacency is the worst thing you can have as a leader”.

Links

You can reach Rob at his email: rob@libsyn.com

You can find out more about Libsyn at this link and you can start podcasting there for as little as $5 a month.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).