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The Video Show: One Minute With Melissa Monte

Tips on how to stand out in the booming podcast crowd.

The podcasting industry is booming according to The Infinite Dial 2019 report from Edison Research and Triton Digital. That’s the good news. The bad news is the number of podcasts available grows daily with online estimates of 750,000. That’s a lot of competition. With so many big names, brands and networks dominating the podcast charts, are you struggling to get ears on your podcast?

Within one year of launch, Melissa Monte’s podcast “Mind Love” reached #11 in the iTunes Charts. During her presentation “Pitches, Partners, & Placements, Oh, My: How to Get Over A Million Podcast Downloads Next Year,” the popular host will share the growth strategies she used to grow her show from zero audience to more than a million downloads at The Video Show, a two-day event in Washington, Dec. 4–5.

The Video Show caught up with Monte for just a minute ahead of the show.

The Video Show: With so many name-brand podcasts, celebrities, networks and other heavyweights getting so much attention in podcasting these days, is it still possible for a smaller or independent podcast to break through and build an audience?

Melissa Monte: Yes, definitely! This just means it’s more important than ever to launch with a strategy, and that strategy is defined by your business goals. I know plenty of podcasters who have never ranked in the podcast charts, but their podcast still contributed to multiplying their business efforts. 

The more you’re able to get really clear on who your audience is, how you can serve them and how you can funnel this back to benefit your business, the more you’ll attract your ideal listener/client.

I didn’t have a business when I started, so I technically went the hard route: I built the audience first and then got clarity on my business. I started broad and then niched down when I learned where I could best provide value.

Podcasting is still a smaller medium than blogging, YouTube or Instagram, so there’s less competition than any other medium.

I launched under two years ago, when the market was already pretty saturated. Within six months I was ranking in my category because I was strategic about growing my show and, especially, creating a podcast people wanted to come back to and people couldn’t help but share.

TVS: You’ve worked with and advised many people who are trying to raise their podcasts’ profiles. What do you see that most often holds podcasters back from achieving that goal?

MM: First, a lot of people keep their podcasts “a secret”… I know people whose friends don’t even know they have a podcast. If you’re not so proud of your show that you can’t help but tell people about it, then you can’t expect it to be a show that other people are compelled to share. Word of mouth is one of the top ways your podcast will grow, but that starts with you.


Second, many people don’t focus on the quality of their shows because so many people follow the business philosophy of “just ship it” or just get it out imperfect. While there’s some value in that, you wouldn’t just throw together a documentary shot from your iPhone with minimal editing. Similarly, no one wants to listen to an hour-long podcast recorded with Apple headphones.

Craft your show. Create elements of familiarity. Think about speaking to a human (or better yet, a friend) rather than broadcasting to a sea of unknown people. Tell people to share, tell them how to share and tell them who to share it with. Once people have an idea of someone that needs to hear this episode, they can’t help but share it, but you have to plant that seed first.

The Video Show will feature more than 100 sessions on nine presentation stages, as well as a dedicated screening room, demo areas, streaming studio and dynamic exhibit floor. Want to hear more about this topic? Visit the The Video Show website to learn more and register.