What should you name your podcast? With over 700,000 podcasts out there, is it even possible to stand out? Tune into NameChangers Episode #9 with James Doherty to find out.
Episode #9 Transcription:
There are over 700,000 podcasts currently in existence. 700,000! How in the world will yours stand out? So normally I would get an outside expert to discuss topics on the show. But today, I am the expert. When I started out naming, podcasts and blogs became one of my biggest nitches. after years of experience in that space, I’ve learned a thing or two and today. I want to go over some do’s and don’ts of a good podcast name.
Im James Doherty and this is NameChangers.
All right, first we’re going to start with a do, and that do is:
Do ask yourself who your audience is.
Now if you remember from our first episode when we talked with Mike Carr, he said that when you want to make a name you need to ask yourself, truly and honestly, who is the audience this name is for? And most the time, it’s not you. Now I want to tie this into the first don’t and the first don’t is:
Don’t assume you are Joe Rogan.
Now I say this because I’ve named for a lot of people especially in the business in self-help space that their initial thought were they wanted to name their podcast “The -and then their name- and then “show”, “experiment”, “experience”, things like that. Now their idea was they wanted to be just like Joe Rogan and in case you’re not familiar, “The Joe Rogan Experience” is one of the most popular podcasts of all time. Each episode gets millions of downloads. Now, Joe Rogan’s style is he sits down with someone and asks really deep questions about what they do or what they think and he talks to people from all over, politicians, scientists, sometimes people who are really having a negative you in the media to let them talk their side. That people really love the style and because of that they’ve decided they want to have something similar, which is fine, there are a lot of great interview shows out there.
The problem is is the name of his podcast is The Joe Rogan Experience. And the reason that works is because Joe Rogan’s been famous for a long time. He started back in the 90s as a stand-up comedian, he got on a sitcom, he was a host of Fear Factor which was on NBC so it was watched by millions of people and he also hosts UFC fights. The man is well known before he even started podcasting. So when people see the name Joe Rogan first, they recognize it, and second it brings an expectation in their mind. Joe Rogan’s funny, Joe Rogan is associated with UFC that means of the talk show is going to be humorous, it’s going to have this guy’s personality which we know, and there’s probably going to be some UFC elements in it.
Because of this they will listen. Now this is where you need to ask yourself, “What does your name convey?” Unfortunately, and this works for me too, I did not name this podcast “The James Doherty Podcast”, “The James Doherty Show”, “The James Doherty Experiment”, because my name unfortunately doesn’t carry any weight. When people see my name they’ll say who’s that now a lot of people could think “Okay. well, I’ll establish ‘Who’s that?’ when people listen to my show”, but how are you going to get them to listen to your show in the first place? That’s the question. Now, if you have a following, a substantial following in what you do, there’s still a possibility that this could work. Say you’re a physicist and you’re very famous in the physics field, people know your name, people know your research. If you are making a podcast and your audience are physics students or people in the field, you may be able to get away with using your name. People will see your name and go “Oh, that’s the physics guy, I know what the shows about, I know what to expect.” The reason it won’t work for everybody, people who say they want to be the next Joe Rogan, is because there’s already so many shows named after other people there’s no reason for somebody to click on it. People are not going to be curious “Oh, who’s this guy?” because they have so many names to sift through your best bet is to create a title that catches their attention and then underneath it right with -your name-. So, this leads me into my next to which is
Do find your niche, and try to have your name reflect that niche.
Now, you hear time and time again, the best businesses and the most successful businesses are in a certain niche. When you’re able to capture that one group of people where they’ll go to you specifically for information, your golden. You’ve got what’s known as raving fans. So if you can find your specific niche and name your podcast after that to where people who were interested in that will immediately go to your podcast, you are golden.
I met some guys recently who have a genealogy podcast. Now interest in genealogy is growing because the abundance of companies with those mail in DNA kits, and these guys have been doing this for, I think maybe 10 years now so they have had crazy numbers on their show because they have tapped that market on genealogy, and because of that they even told me that their advertisers have never asked them how many listeners they have because they know that even if they only have a hundred listeners, 200 listeners, a thousand listeners, those a thousand people are interested, very interested, in that space meaning that whatever product they’re trying to sell them will go over much better than just a broad audience. And because of that a name very, very much appeals to them. Examples like these guys. I think they’re your I think they’re podcast is called “The Genealogy Guys” not sure on that.
Our podcast is NameChangers which appeals to people who like naming or people who need a name, that’s our niche Now relating back to the don’t about naming your podcast “The -Your name- show, experiment, podcast”, you can name your podcast after your company. Now, so you have a popular blog or you have a popular YouTube channel and you want to expand using a podcast. If you name your podcast after your channel or your blog, that’s not a bad idea that gives people the expectation if you have some name recognition, there are a lot of companies, especially in the self-help and coaching space that tend to name their podcast after a product of their or their brand and they get a lot of listeners from their brand because of it.
Let’s do a real world example. I named a podcast for a speaker in Australia. Her name is Kate Fitzsimons and she is becoming more and more well-known. She was actually listed in Australia’s Financial Reviews “100 Women of Influence.” One of her goals is to help kids during high school. maybe just graduating high school, starting college figure out what to do with their life, so she wanted to start a podcast. So, instead of naming her podcast The Kate Fitzsimons Show, which she potentially could have done because she’s becoming more and more popular in her speaking practice, we decided on the name: “Okay. Now What?” So this title gives off multiple Impressions. It’s something that people look at and go “ Oh, what’s that?” and then they might listen to it. It’s something that people can identify with because they have asked themselves that question multiple times, I know I have. And it’s something that really speaks to what her podcast is about. “Okay, I graduated high school, now what? Okay, I’m finishing college, now what?” Because of that, that is a much better title than just The Kate Fitzsimons Podcast, The Kate Fitzsimons Show.
Let’s lead into another don’t and this don’t is:
Don’t copy other podcasts’ names.
There’s some great podcasts out there and people are inspired to try to make their podcast in a similar vein to those. Like I said earlier, a lot of people want to be the next Joe Rogan. But there’s also some story podcasts are there some narrative podcast or True Crime podcasts have been huge. So you might listen to a podcast to go, “I want to start a podcast like that”, which is great. The thing is is that you want to attract listeners of those other podcasts. If you want to do that, you got to make sure your name is not that similar to the other podcast let me explain what I mean.
There’s this great podcast called “Welcome to Night Vale” and it has a huge following. The podcast is about this town called Night Vale and the weird things that happen to it. Now a lot of people love the concept of this podcast weird, it’s fun so they want to create one just like it. So a lot of people make up their own town and their own crazy things that happened to it. The problem is is that they named their podcast “Welcome To” and then the name of their town. Now the problem with that is that people who will see that will immediately think it’s a rip-off, it’s a bootleg, it’s a completely unoriginal copy of “Welcome to Night Vale”, and because of that they’ll immediately have a negative idea of the podcast. Instead even if you just named it the name of the town or “The Odd Things Of”, things like that and had your artwork really reflect the style that you’re trying to go for, then you can attract the same kind of audience that “Welcome to Night Vale” attracts without blatantly copying the other podcast.
Then this leaves me to my final do of this episode and that is
Do legally protect your podcast’s name.
Now in some episodes of this podcast, we have talked a lot about trademark. Even though podcasts have been around for maybe 10 or 12 years, they’ve really, really built up steam in the last couple years. People have really found it as a way to make money or promote their business and because of that, tons of podcast companies and channels have popped up and have made tons of money. Just like at Gimlet Media, a podcast network in Brooklyn, New York. They were acquired by Spotify for 230 million dollars. There’s a lot of money to be made in podcasting and because there’s money to be made that is when legal troubles start to happen. Now, most people I have talked to who do podcasting have not legally protected their name, and I’d say probably over 50% of independent podcast have not trademarked their name. Now the problem with this is is as podcasting becomes more and more popular, more and more names are going to be taken and if you have a good name there is a chance that somebody else might want that good name. And if they decide to trademark it, you might be in some hot water.
Now, you might have a stance because you can prove that you used it first, but there is going to be so much time and legal fees in order to prove that it just might not be worth it in the end. You should go, right now go and take the appropriate steps to trademark your name.
Let’s do a little recap.
Do ask yourself who your audience is.
Don’t assume that you’re Joe Rogan.
Do find your niche and try to have your name reflect that .
Don’t copy other podcasts’ name.
Do legally protect your podcast’s name
Now go out there and make the best podcast you can.
NameChanges is made in association with NameStormers, a naming agency in Austin, Texas. You can find out more about them at NameStormers.com. If you have any questions, comments, email us at [email protected] I’m James Doherty, we’ll see you next time.