No. 061 Why the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle is the Key to Differentiation That Impacts an Audience


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No. 061 Why the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle is the Key to Differentiation That Impacts an Audience

We have arrived at Part Three of our three-part series on creating a show that has meaningful differentiation — the kind of differentiation that will attract and retain an audience in a time of more and more podcast clutter. This lesson is all about how to display your differentiation visually, and how to use the “Hell Yes” principle to iterate yourself to the best shared show experience for you and your audience.

Over an hour of intense discussion, Jerod and Jonny cover the following topics, in the same 3 ideas/3 bullets format that they have used for each of these lessons in their mini courses:

1. Create remarkable show art

  • The importance of research when creating show art
  • Why it’s imperative that you not overcomplicate your show art
  • How your show art can (and should) evolve as your show evolves

2. Be strategic and intentional in your use of visuals

  • Have a logo that is instantly recognizable as yours
  • Should you use an image of yourself?
  • How to think about color and font

3. Double down on what works, and iterate on what doesn’t

  • Why you should never capitulate to appease people on the fringes
  • How to use the “Hell Yes” principle to know what works and what doesn’t
  • The importance of iterating to “Hell Yes”

Remember: indifference won’t differentiate! We discuss that principle as well.

Plus, we offer up two new podcast recommendations:

  • Tony Robbins Podcast: Are You a Wantrapreneur? — with Noah Kagan
  • The Hack the Entrepreneur Top Ten … it’s out! Be sure to take a look.
  • Listen, learn, enjoy …

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    The Show Notes

The Transcript

No. 061 Why the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle is the Key to Differentiation That Impacts an Audience

Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at

Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?

Welcome back to The Showrunner. This is episode No. 61 of The Showrunner. I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital. I am joined, as always, by my co-host, Jonny Nastor, drummer of punk-rock beats, connoisseur of sandwiches … no, connoisseur of coffee, maker of sandwiches, lister of shows. I don’t know. There’s a whole bunch of things. He’s the host of Hack the Entrepreneur. He’s a bestselling author. He is Jonny Nastor.

Mr. Nastor, welcome. It is always a pleasure to speak with you.

Jonny Nastor: Wow, thanks for the lovely introduction, Jerod.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, I apologize that I’ve forgotten some of the descriptors, but there are so many.

Jonny Nastor: There are. It seems like every two weeks there’s another one.

Jerod Morris: It does indeed. Hey, so we’re recording this on the 24th of May, and next week, by the time people listen to our next episode, you actually are going to be over in Europe. You’re taking a big trip. You’re going to be there for several weeks.

You and I actually, last week, recorded some episodes ahead of time to plan around the times when you’re going to be traveling and not able to make our normal recording sessions, so we recorded a couple of episodes ahead of time. What’s the impetus for the trip to Europe? What are the highlights going to be as you look ahead?

Highlights of Jonny’s Europe Trip

Jonny Nastor: I have a mastermind group. It’s only three of us left, but for two years, we’ve been meeting every single week. We’ve decided to make it this event where we meet places. We originally met in the Philippines, so in Asia. Then last year, we just randomly said, “We should meet in Lisbon, Portugal,” for some reason. But then we didn’t because I ended up in Vancouver, so they wanted to come to Vancouver. So they met me there.

Now, this year, we’re part of this forum called the Dynamite Circle, which is a huge forum of 1,000 people, 2,000 people, or something. They hold two conferences a year. I believe it’s two, yeah. This one, the Dynamite Circle’s in Barcelona. As soon as that came up, they instantly just sent links and said, “Hey, we should go to this together,” so I said, “Okay, let’s go.”

Then it was like, “Wow, what about Lisbon?” We’re stopping in Lisbon, me and my two friends, for six days, we’re going to spend, just the three of us, working, talking about stuff, and doing whatever it is we do. Then the three of us are flying over to Barcelona, where my family will already be waiting for me. Then we’re going to hang out there for a couple weeks. Go to a conference, and check out the Pablo Picasso Arts Museum, which I’m looking forward to.

Jerod Morris: Very nice. That sounds great, man.

Jonny Nastor: It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be really cool.

Jerod Morris: Lisbon, of course, not to be confused with Libsyn.

Jonny Nastor: Not to be confused with Libsyn.

Jerod Morris: A little podcasting humor there for you.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and also with Lisbon, my audio editor, the editor of my show, he’s edited the last 202 episodes of my podcast, he lives in Portugal, so not in Lisbon, but I’m going to be going there. He’s going to take a train to Lisbon, and we’re going to go out for dinner.

Jerod Morris: Oh how cool.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, which is really awesome, so I’m going to actually get to meet him rather than just talking to him via email all the time.

Jerod Morris: That’s amazing when that gets to happen, when you’ve worked virtually and then you get to meet in person. That’s phenomenal.

Jonny Nastor: I love it. Yeah, and obviously, it just helps the whole relationship. He does great work for me. It’ll be fun. Plus, it’s really cool to always have somebody who’s from there because they know the language better than me. I don’t know any Portuguese. You don’t just see the tourist stuff. They’ll take me somewhere interesting. I’m looking forward to it.

Jerod Morris: Very cool. Very, very cool. Well, before we begin, obviously, here in this episode, we are doing the third part of our second mini course. We completed Jonny’s mini course last week. If you missed that episode, make sure that you go back and listen to it. That was Jonny’s mini course on how to plan … what was it? Schedule, plan, and execute engaging podcast interviews? I believe those were the three verbs.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, book, plan, and execute.

Jerod Morris: Plan and execute. There we go. How to book, plan, and execute, so those three episodes are in your archive. We, of course, will be turning that into a mini course because that’s what we’re doing with this series.

Today, we are going to be doing the third lesson in my mini course, the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience. We are going to get to that here in just a few minutes. We’re going to be talking about how to differentiate through design and then how to double down to ‘hell yes.’ You’re not going to want to miss this one. It is the ending to this mini course.

New Listener? Get on The Showrunner List to Elevate Your Showrunning

Jerod Morris: Before we get to that, we do want to remind all of you, especially those of you who may be here for the first time or the second time, we just had someone email us a couple of days ago and say that he had just found The Showrunner and was going back through all the way from the beginning, starting from scratch, and listening to all the episodes, so he’d be caught up.

If any of you are listening here for your first time, your second time, your third time, make sure that you go to Showrunner.FM, and join The Showrunner. You get a lot of goodies when you do that.

You get our content series, the Four Essential Elements of a Remarkable Podcast, so that you understand our core curriculum and so that you know what we mean when we talk about authenticity, usefulness, sustainability, and profitability. There’s even an ebook there, and if you just email us, we’ll be happy to send that to you if you’d rather have it in PDF form.

But you’ll also get our weekly newsletter. Our weekly newsletter includes updates of new episodes, announcements of upcoming events–like our Showrunner Huddles, some of which are public and which we love having you there for–then our world-famous, highly renowned, ‘we highly recommend’ section, where we find really cool links, really cool resources, new ideas, just something to spur your thinking.

Sometimes there are great opportunities, like the opportunity that we put in our last newsletter about a way for folks on the list to be part of a free Digital Commerce Academy Q&A where you can go and actually ask Brian Clark and Chris Garrett questions.

There’s always something new, something exciting in there, so make sure that you go to Showrunner.FM and get on the list. Jonny, any final comments here before we jump into today’s main topic?

Jonny Nastor: No. I think I’m too excited to get into today’s topic. This has, by far, the best title out of all six of these that we’ve done up till now. I think we should just do it.

Jerod Morris: By the way, I just skipped ahead and saw what you put in the podcast recommendation section. Won’t that be interesting? More on that to come, folks. All right, let’s jump into today’s main topic.

Lesson 3 of the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience

Jerod Morris: All right. Welcome to the third lesson in our mini course, the 3-Step Process for Creating a Unique Podcast That Will Attract and Retain an Audience–in other words, how to create your unique snowflake in a blizzard of podcasts.

Of course, the big idea that we are talking about with this mini course, and this goes back to a line that Chris Garrett gave me when I first asked him about how does he think about differentiation, making a show, making a blog, or some piece of content unique.

His idea was this. “Unlike most shows about ______ , our show is ______ , which means ______ .” The whole goal of this mini course has been to teach you, show you, and guide you how to fill in those blanks. We’ve gone through three steps.

The 3D Philosophy for Creating a Unique Podcast

Jerod Morris: We started with this 3D Philosophy for Creating Unique Podcasts. We started with deciding what your show will be about. Then we talked about differentiating your show so that it stands out.

Lesson 3 of the 3D Philosophy for Creating a Unique Podcast: Differentiating through Design and Then Double Down on the ‘Hell Yes’ Principle

Jerod Morris: Today, we’re going to talk about how to display your differentiation and then double down. It’s a couple of different topics here that we’re fusing into this one lesson to put the perfect capper on this mini course so that when you’re done, when you’ve gone through all of these three lessons, hopefully through the process of going through this and thinking this, we’ve jogged your thinking, jogged your imagination, your creativity a little bit, your motivation to research.

And you have come up with some ideas that you can incorporate into an existing show or incorporate into a new show you’re planning to start that will help make it more unique, more differentiated. If not, then you’ll have all the tools now with these lessons to go back and work through this and think through it very strategically, very intentionally. That is one of the biggest ideas as we’ve gone through this course–the idea that a unique show, a differentiated show, it doesn’t just happen by accident.

There is a process that you want to go through to do this. There is research involved. It’s not sitting in a chair, staring out the window, and expecting the perfect idea to come to you. It’s really being intentional, putting in the work, being strategic, so that you can create something that is perfectly positioned within a market to attract attention. Not just attract attention, but then also retain attention as well.

This is the last part of that, which is differentiating through design and then of course doubling down to getting to the ‘hell yes,’ which we’re going to get to here in a minute.

Jerod Morris: Let’s start with differentiating through design.

Step 1 of Differentiating and Doubling Down: Create Remarkable Show Art

Jerod Morris: The first step in differentiating through design is creating remarkable show art. I’m sure, as we’ve gone through the first two lessons, you’ve been wondering when we were going to talk about this. Because a lot of times, when we talk about differentiation and making your show unique, show art is one of the first topics that comes to mind because it’s such a visual identifier of your show.

We’re so used to scrolling through iTunes, scrolling through the listings on whatever podcast app we use, and looking at the show art. Whether we think we are or not, every time we look at the show art of a show, we’re making little judgments. We’re having little emotional reactions.

Sometimes, it compels us to click through, and we give that show a chance. Sometimes, if the show art doesn’t grasp us, we may look right past a show that we otherwise would have liked. You show art is extremely, extremely important.

Just like your show’s format and your voice need to stand out–we’ve talked about how important your voice is, how important your format is, in the last couple of episodes, and the last couple of lessons–your show art needs to stand out to attract attention.

Do Your Research

Jerod Morris: To do that, you really need to do your research. It’s not just, “All right, let me go create this great show art, and I’ll submit it. I just hope that, when I go to iTunes, that my show art will stand out. It will look different, and it will grab attention.”

Well, how are you going to know what’s going to grab attention unless you know what’s already there?

It’s like if you want to stand out with what you wear to a certain event, don’t you have to know what most people are going to be dressed at, at that event? If it’s a black tie affair but you really want to stand out, then maybe you decide to sport the blue and orange tuxes that Lloyd and Harry wore in Dumb and Dumber. That would allow you to stand out. I guess, to a certain extent, those tuxes would allow you to stand out anyway. That’s not exactly the way that you want to stand out.

But the point remains, you need to understand what else is going to be there, so you know how to differentiate yourself. Do your research. See what trends are there. You may want to zig when other people are zagging.

Let me give you an example. Go to iTunes right now, as you listen to this, and go look in the iTunes section for podcasting, which you can get to through technology. Start scrolling down and start looking at these. This is going to be true, at least as of May 24th, because that’s when we’re recording this and that’s when I just went through and looked at this.

You won’t find another show with a bold red show art design, at least through the first 100, 150 results. There’s a good reason for that. Well, you will find one, which is The Showrunner, and that’s what there’s a good reason for. We knew that to stand out, we wanted that big, bold red color and that there wasn’t something else like that out there already.

If you go look in college sports, and you start scrolling down, you won’t see another one where the show art, the square of the show art, is circular, and the circle takes up the entire width of the square. That’s The Assembly Call logo, that circular logo, and it fills up the entire square.

There’s a few others where the circle is a little bit smaller. Most of them are the normal square, but with The Assembly Call logo, it’s a circle, and it’s a white space–and it stands out immediately. The color also helps because it’s just red and white, so it’s simple colors that stand out. Those aren’t by accident.

So you really want to make sure that you go do your research, that you understand what other shows are there, and think strategically with your show art so that it will stand out from the other shows that will be competing for your audience’s attention.

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Show Art

Jerod Morris: Now, there is a danger in trying to differentiate your show art that you will overdo it. That you’ll go so crazy, and you’ll do all these complicated things. You don’t want to do that. Your show art needs to be strong and simple, and instantly recognizable. Don’t complicate it.

You want it to stand out, but you want it to stand out because the colors are bold, because the text is bold, because it’s simple to see, because the color and whatever graphic you may have and the text, they work together well visually. You don’t want it to be just this mishmash that doesn’t say anything. It needs to state something clearly. That something needs to be simple.

Here’s an example of one that I just found. If you go look at the show art for the Irish Sports Daily Power Hour and I’ve never listened to this show. It’s probably a great show because it is actually ranked pretty highly. If you look at the show art for that show, I think they’re probably missing some opportunities here.

Look at all the information on that. Everything I’m about to read right now is contained in the little show art square. “Notre Dame Power Hour Podcast, Mondays at 8 PM. An Irish Sports Daily production. Mike Frank, Sean Stires, Sean Mele,” with the ISD logo. All of that is on that little square.

Now, if you view the show art huge, like on a TV, it probably looks fine. But think about where most people view your show art. They’re either viewing it in the main listing on iTunes, which is really small, or they’re viewing it on a mobile device, in which the show art is going to be small.

If you have all of that text crowded on there, number one, people probably aren’t going to strain their eyes to try and read it. Number two, they’ll just glaze right over it. So make it simple, and make sure that it looks good big and small. Focus on the small because that’s where most people are going to see it.

Evolve Your Show Art Over Time As Your Show Evolves

Jerod Morris: Now, the third part here of creating remarkable show art is that you don’t need to overdo it from the beginning, investing a lot of money. That’s the danger. I don’t want you to feel like, “Oh crap, I’ve got to go out and spend $300 on my show art like Jerod did for The Assembly Call logo right away to get started.” I didn’t do that until before our fifth season. We had already done four seasons.

Your show art can and probably should evolve as your show evolves. You don’t need to spend $300, $400 right away to begin. Yeah, you may want to invest $15, $20. You want to go check out Fiverr. That’s totally fine. You can even create something on your own. You can create something with bold colors and strong lettering using Canva.

You may not be able to get a real fancy design if you’re not a designer yourself or if you don’t have a good designer friend who can help you out, but you don’t need to break the bank doing this in the beginning, especially if you’re just getting off the ground.

Once you reach a certain point, then you should invest in remarkable show art, like we did for The Assembly Call, like Jonny did with Hack the Entrepreneur when he updated his show art. One thing that it can do, especially once your show reaches that 50-episode or 100-episode mark, in addition to, again, standing out better–and you’ll probably have a better idea of what shows you’re competing against–so you can get even more granular with your decisions, more intentional with your decisions on color, graphic, and text so that it really stands out against these 10 to 12 other podcasts that you know you’re competing against.

You’ll be able to zero in more on all of that, but it can also reinvigorate your show. You might even be able to sell gear with your logo and show art on it. We’re going to get to logos in a second, but that’s the power of show art. It can reinvigorate your excitement in the show. It gives you something to announce to your audience. It shows your audience that you’re growing and that something bigger is happening here. You’re investing in show art, and look at this new show art.

This is a process. It doesn’t all have to be done in the beginning, but you probably do want to make some decisions in the beginning about colors, maybe even about font–and we’re going to get to those here in just a minute. Those are actually bigger decisions than just your show art. Those will probably be consistent, but your show art can always get better as you go.

Again, when we talk about this, creating remarkable show art, it starts with doing that research and really understanding what’s out there, so you can actually strategically position your show art against the other shows–just like you’re strategically positioning your format against other shows and everything else that you’re doing.

Make sure that it’s strong, that it’s simple, that it’s instantly recognizable. Your show art needs to communicate a feeling in a moment. That feeling needs to be, “Hey, podcast browser, you need to become a podcast listener.”

If your show art is trying to do too much, people will probably skip over to the next one. That is definitely not what you want. Now, you don’t even give yourself a chance to get the attention, let alone retain the attention.

Create Your Show Art with the Right Dimensions

Jonny Nastor: I hope I didn’t miss you explain this because I did get sidetracked looking at Irish Sports Daily Power Hour, trying to read all of that. It’s a shocking amount of information on their artwork.

Jerod Morris: It is.

Jonny Nastor: I love that you mention Canva, and with Hack the Entrepreneur’s original logo, I used Fiverr. It cost me about $40 to get the revisions done and then to get the proper format. If you’re doing it on Canva, which I strongly suggest it I use it daily for Hack the Entrepreneur. Do you know what the dimensions are that iTunes requires nowadays?

Jerod Morris: I believe 3,000.

Jonny Nastor: Okay. Yes.

Jerod Morris: I believe it is. It used to be 1,400 by 1,400, but they changed it, so I believe it’s 3,000 by 3,000. There’s no reason to not do it that big. You might as well just go as big as you can so that your show art looks good on any size screen.

Jonny Nastor: Exactly. Just so you know, if you do go to Canva, make it 3,000 by 3,000. I believe iTunes will still accept 1,400 by 1,400, but they recommend 3,000 by 3,000. It does look much better when somebody’s viewing podcasts on a TV and a bigger device. It’s just as easy on Canva to make it the proper size. That’s all I wanted to make sure we’re sending people on the right path, so they don’t create a small little artwork.

Jerod Morris: It is important, though, to reiterate, you do want it to be big, but make sure it looks good small.

Jonny Nastor: I was just going to say.

Jerod Morris: I see more people making mistakes trying to make it look good big than small. Sorry if I stole your thunder.

Jonny Nastor: Exactly. Right, because you’re making it 3,000 on your desktop computer, and it’s huge. It’s like, “I’ve got so much room. I can put in these tiny words, and you can still read them really well.” But then make sure you download it and look at it on a phone, just the art itself. Make sure you can still read it really clearly. Less is always more. In this case, make your point, but don’t over complicate it at all.

Jerod Morris: Yep. Excellent. That’s step one, create remarkable show art.

Step 2 of Differentiating and Doubling Down: Be Strategic and Intentional in Your Use of Visuals

Jerod Morris: Now, let’s talk about other imagery and visuals that are going to be part of your show and part of your overall experience. Remember, you are a showrunner. You’re not just creating a series of podcast episodes, a series of audio episodes to be consumed on demand.

You’re creating an experience, and that experience should go beyond iTunes and go beyond the experience that people are having just listening to your show in their ears. It should go to your website, and it’s probably going to go into social media. It hopefully has tentacles that reach out in different ways.

In all of those places, you are going to be using visuals. You want to be strategic and intentional in your use of those visuals. Not just with your show art, but with all of the visuals.

Have an Instantly Recognizable Logo

Jerod Morris: Step number one here is to have a logo that is instantly recognizable as yours and that you use across your properties. A logo is different from show art. Now, they can double as one and the same. They can. For instance, The Assembly Call, we use our show art and our logo–they’re the same thing. That is possible, but a lot of times, it will be different.

In some ways, maybe it should be different, and in fact, I designed The Assembly Call logo, if you look at it, that little part in the bottom with the circle and the microphone, you’ll notice how the legs and the arms of the microphone actually form an IU, which is kind of cool, for Indiana University, which, again, that’s what the show it about.

I designed that so that I could take that small little piece and use it as a smaller logo, where appropriate, which we may do in the future, especially if we start, let’s say, an Assembly Call podcast network. We’ll take that little part, and we’ll put it on all of our shows. That is similar to the Rainmaker.FM shows. They have the little Rainmaker.FM logo, the four lines that look like rain falling.

Look at Hack the Entrepreneur. We’ll talk about Jonny’s show art here in just a second in the next section, but if you look at the show art, it has a little microphone logo above the title. That little microphone logo, it’s on the show art. It’s at the Hack the Entrepreneur website. Jonny put out a Top Ten podcast series on iTunes. It’s on there.

So it’s this visual marker that shows you that you’re in the right place. That’s important. It’s like little bread crumbs that let people know, “You’re in the right place,” that let people know that this show is connected to that show. It’s really important, and it can be very, very valuable when you do it correctly.

It doesn’t have to be just for a podcast network, as Jonny is showing. It’s something that will, again, allow your show to grow bigger and bigger while maintaining continuity. Because as Johnny continues to release new Hack the Entrepreneur Top Tens, extensions, or whatever, books, he can always have that little logo there, and people who are part of his audience, part of his tribe, will know, “Okay, this is Hack the Entrepreneur. I know where I’m at,” and that’s really important.

Because part of differentiating and part of the retention strategy … I don’t know if a logo like that is going to help you attract, but it is really important in helping you retain. It’s that little thing that lets people know, again, that they’re in the right place and provides that continuity. That is a big part of your differentiation strategy.

Differentiation is not just a strategy to attract attention. It’s a strategy for retaining attention, too–almost more so. Remember those little visual cues that you can give people to let them know that they’re in the right place.

Consider Whether to Use Images of Yourself

Jerod Morris: Now, for the second part of this section, let me ask a question. Should you use images of yourself? The answer is that it depends. It’s going to depend on the type of show that you do. It’s going to depend on how long you’ve been doing your show. It’s going to depend on how associated you are with the show, how associated you want to be with the brand of the show. It may have to do with what your future goals are for the show.

If you’re developing a show because you eventually want to sell it, roll it into something bigger, or have someone else take it over, then putting your name in the show, putting your face on the show art, or putting your name in the domain, may not be the smartest thing. You may not know right from the beginning, and that’s okay.

Let’s use Hack the Entrepreneur as an example here. Jonny, after how many episodes did you change your show art, when you put your face on it?

Jonny Nastor: It was about 150.

Jerod Morris: Okay, 150. Originally, the show art was, correct me if I’m wrong, it was a bold yellow background. You had that logo on it that we talked about earlier and then Hack the Entrepreneur text. That was pretty much it, right?

Jonny Nastor: That was absolutely it.

Jerod Morris: Okay. It was great because that bold yellow color, it really stood out. It was simple. You didn’t need a whole lot of other description because the name of your show is descriptive enough. That was really, really good show art, and it helped you build this great audience through 150 episodes.

Well, after 150 episodes, number one, you’ve realized, “Okay, this is sustainable.” You’re going to keep doing this show, and you’re Jonny Nastor–Jonny f’n Nastor, the host of the show. In a sense, you had earned the right to put your picture on the show art.

Originally, when you came out with Hack the Entrepreneur, you weren’t necessarily well-known in the entrepreneurship space. Obviously, you had a lot of friends, a lot of contacts, a big network, but not necessarily with people who will be listening to podcasts.

The name Jonny Nastor, the face Jonny Nastor, wouldn’t have necessarily moved the needle like if some famous person–like Marc Maron starting a podcast. Well, that name is going to move a needle, especially now. If the president of the United States does a podcast, he can put his face on there because that’s going to be an important part of the whole brand of that show.

Well, after some time, you had earned that right. You were more well-known. You had become associated with that show, so it fit. You changed the show art. Now, it’s got this great picture of you, looking to the left, looking at the name of the show. It’s great, and it fits really, really well.

Again, in the beginning, no one really would have cared, so you almost would have been wasting your valuable show art space putting your picture on there.

To contrast that, when Brian Clark started The New Rainmaker show, well, Brian has been around in the space for eight, nine years, has 170 Twitter followers–a guy with a very recognizable brand and face. For him, putting his picture on the show art was a great idea because that instantly was going to attract attention. People see that, “Oh, Brian Clark has a podcast now. Let me go check it out.” You’ll notice that none of the other shows on the Rainmaker.FM network did this.

At the time that we started The Showrunner, who really are Jerod Morris and Jonny Nastor teaching us about podcasting? Now, 60 episodes in, where we are as we’re recording this, maybe it’s a little bit different. Who knows? At the time, it certainly wasn’t. Same thing for a lot of the people on the Rainmaker.FM network, but it was different for Brian.

If you want a rule of thumb for whether or not you should use an image of yourself, especially on your show art, obviously, on your website, things like that, you have more real estate, but on your show art, in the header of your website, in places like that, ask yourself these two questions. Number one, will it make a difference? Number two, have I earned it?

It does seem a little bit presumptuous to put yourself first, to put your face out there, when no one really knows who it is and when you haven’t developed enough of a brand, enough authority, for that to really matter.

So ask those two questions: Will it make a difference? Have I earned it? If you answer yes to both, then include your image in your show art. Make it a strategic decision, not one driven by vanity.

You see a lot of podcast show art out there that has people’s pictures on it. They may be great pictures, but what is that picture really communicating? You’re just another face unless people recognize that face. Use that real estate for color, which creates emotion. Use that real estate for bolder text, so people can see what your show is about until you get to that point where your face is going to make a difference.

Will it make a difference? Have I earned it? Ask those two questions.

Be Intentional with Color and Font Choices

Jerod Morris: Finally, in this section, be intentional about your choice of color and your choice of font. This could probably take an entire other lesson to dive into, but understand that every color that you choose is communicating something emotionally–to the audience, to the person who’s looking at it.

We chose red for The Showrunner specifically because The Showrunner is about being bold. It’s about having pride in your message, standing up, saying what you have to say, getting out there. Red is a very bold color. That communicated that.

Jonny uses yellow for Hack the Entrepreneur, and to me, it works because he’s shining a spotlight on entrepreneurs to uncover the mindset that makes them successful. Yellow also happens to be a color that not a lot of people were using for their show art, so it really stood out, especially that bright shade of yellow. The Digital Entrepreneur is green because we’re teaching people how to make money by building digital businesses.

Colors create emotion, and you want to understand what emotion your colors are going to create and communicate so that you make sure that you’re communicating the right emotion to your audience. The one that you want to get them to listen to the show in the first place, and the one that is going to continue communicating to them after that as they go through, so that when they see that big, red logo pop up, they get that instant excitement, to listen to this week’s episode, or that yellow, or whatever it is.

They’re matching that emotion, that emotion they have when they first listened to your show, when they first found your show, that will continue as they continue listening.

It’s not just your primary color, but think about your color combinations. They create contrast that determine how easy something is to read. You want to be mindful of that. You don’t probably want to put oranges and yellows together. You may not want to put greens and blues together, or purples and blues together, especially depending on the shading, because you may not be able to read it. You especially may not be able to read it on a small screen.

So make sure that there is good contrast. Red and white. Yellow and black. Green and white. Make sure that there is that contrast. Again, going back to what we talked about before, you want what your show art represents to be bold, but to be simple and instantly recognizable.

The same is going to be true for font. Now, you ask Rafal Tomal, and he can tell you all about what a sans serif font does, a serif font, and all these different fonts. I can’t really explain to you what it is about a font that makes a font right, but I can tell you that, when I go through and choose fonts, I cycle through 50 of them, 100 of them, to find the one I like.

For a while on Primility, I was using impact font. I liked the word ‘impact’ because I wanted Primility to have impact. That’s why it was red, and the font fit. It looked like impact, and it worked. I’ve changed to a different one now because I just like the font a little bit better. I just felt like even the change in font communicated a bit of the change in tone.

Sometimes, it may not be something that you can articulate in words, but it’s a feeling. You are the conduit between all of your content, all of your ideas, and your audience. If you’re having that feeling, then chances are, in your content, and in just everything you do with your show, that feeling will come out.

Even if all you’re doing with your font is going through and just trying to find the one that just looks right, to where you just say, “Yes, that looks right,” kind of like we do with music. For those of us who aren’t real musically trained, we just go through and listen until it sounds right.

You can do the same thin

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