Kim Komando—Spokes Person

Wagon Wheels Spokes


Kim Komando, also known as “The Digital Goddess,” turned a one-minute radio feature into a communications empire that includes a radio show, video programming, social media content, newsletters, and branded products such as Windows tablets.

No longer a radio star, Komando is now a hyphenate: radio personality-video star-online presence-entrepreneur. From her new 24,000-square-foot broadcast facility she turns out a constant stream of integrated information and entertainment. Last week, she was the keynote speaker at the National Association of Broadcasters radio luncheon in Las Vegas. Komando described what she does, and how she does it to an audience that didn’t include podcasters.

And that’s a real shame.

Because all the behind-the-scenes knowledge she shared is directly applicable to what podcasters do. Or should do.

I covered her speech for a radio industry newsletter, but here I’m taking her advice to radio industry executives and demonstrating how the secrets to her successes can become the secrets to success in podcasting. Here are some takeaways from her talk that you can put into action right now:

  • Podcasting, which began as a straight line from microphone to listener, is now best represented by a hub-and-spoke diagram. At the hub is the engine, the platform where you generate the information and entertainment—what I call programming—that attracts your core audience;
  • Your hub programming defines your unique take/slant/perspective/point of view on the information and entertainment you share. Your hub programming answers that age-old listener’s question, “Why do I care what you have to say?”
  • For radio stations, your hub is both your podcast and your web site. Forget the idea that you’re “adding” a website component to your podcast. If the two aren’t seamlessly integrated, your hub—that engine that drives what you do—is running at a fraction of its potential;
  • Duplicating your podcast content on your website—for example summarizing each episode or providing a full transcript—is a bit like an internet stream playing the same album cut all week. The novelty wears off quickly. Listening to a podcast and reading/viewing content on a website are two different animals that warrant unique presentations. Ask yourself what you can do on your podcast that you can’t do on your site. And, vice versa. Then, shape your programming accordingly;
  • Stopping at a podcast plus web presence costs you the opportunity to reach an audience 24 hours a day. Yes, your content is accessible on line, but your listeners aren’t listening to your episodes or navigating your site 247. They are getting information and entertainment from a variety of sources. including blog posts, newsletters, and social media. These are the spokes that originate at the hub and reach out to your audience;
  • A podcast newsletter spoke should extend your programming with fresh information. It shouldn’t rehash what’s been pushed out along a different spoke;
  • A video spoke adds a new dimension to your programming. But go beyond the camera-in-the-studio thinking. What part of your programming can be adapted to a regular video show?
  • Social media is a critical spoke—if you understand its benefits and limitations. Leaning on social media exclusively to build an audience for your hub programming is like a radio station building an audience but constantly repeating, “The best music is on KXXX, 99.9.” Social media is where you, as the public face of your hub programming, get to talk with your audience from the perspective of that take/slant/perspective/point of view that makes your programming unique.

So, kudos to Komando for seizing on the new opportunities available to those of us who used to be mere podcasters, and for letting us peek behind the curtain to see how a hub-and-spoke model transformed her from radio personality to communications queen.

And how it can help make podcasters big wheels, too (okay—even I’m offended by that one).

Kim Komando

Courtesy of Kim Komando

Kim Komando is a trusted by millions of followers as a  guide through the thickets of today’s digital lifestyle. The Kim Komando Show, a three-hour call-in weekly radio show on technology, and Komando’s daily Digital Minute news reports, are heard on hundreds of radio stations across the country and hundreds more around the world. The Kim Komando Show live production, is broadcast from Phoenix, Arizona, each Saturday morning. It is currently carried on over 450 stations with an estimated reach of 6.5 million listeners. Her busy website, daily newsletters, numerous books, and weekly USA Today column reach millions of others.

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Photo: wilhei/Pixabay (Rights: Public Domain)

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