If you do any kind of freelance work in the audio or video world, you may already know what a demo reel is. For those unfamiliar with the word, a demo reel is a montage of clips from an artist that offer a preview of their work, or show off some career highlights. Below is an example of the kind of thing we're talking about...
If you have your own podcast or have been featured in several other podcast episodes, you may be wondering if it's even necessary to create a podcast demo reel. After all, you can just tell people to go online and listen to your podcast if they need to get a sense of your work, right?
The thing is, there are certain situations when providing a demo reel is more beneficial than just leading someone to your podcast page(s). In our fast-paced world, some people don't have time to sit through an hour-long podcast episode. Plus, sharing a reel allows a listener to hear the crème de la crème of your work. It may entice them to explore more of your stuff.
Below, we're giving you three good reasons why you should make a podcast demo reel, even if you feel like you don't need one or you won't use it. We think a demo reel is like a business card: the situation when you need to use one doesn't happen often, but when it does happen, it's good to be prepared and have one on hand.
1. It Can Help You Land Sponsorships
If you're trying to gain a sponsorship for your show, you absolutely need a podcast demo reel. The truth of the matter is that business people working for large brands barely have any time. Your email pitch about your podcast is one of many they've received in a day. You need to find a way to make your pitch stand out, and quickly.
By having a demo reel of your podcast to share, you're offering them a fast outline of your show's vibe. Based on how funny, engaging, or similarly-themed your podcast is to their company, they may just be inclined to say yes to you as fast as they can.
Remember: all brands have "personalities" of sorts. If your podcast is a silly ranting show about movies and your sponsor is an app that allows users to review films, then it may be a good fit between you two. If you include a demo reel in your pitch to them, it will allow them to save time researching your podcast and help them get right to the point. Make things crystal clear, and your sponsorship will appear!
2. It Can Help You Apply to Other Gigs
Sometimes you have to make some extra money, or you're looking to move up in your podcasting career. Plenty of websites out there offer job postings centered around podcasting. Maybe a brand has a show idea and they're looking for an energetic, experienced host. Perhaps a well-established podcast needs a writer to help create new episodes. In these scenarios, a demo reel is your ticket to landing the gig.
By customizing your demo reel to match what the employer is looking for, you're quickly showing them why you're right for their job. Again: it allows hiring personnel to get right to the point. Let's say your reel includes a clip of you talking about relationship advice and you're applying for a job to be a host on a podcast about dating. All you have to do is share your reel and a cover letter asking the employer to hear your clips, and voila - an easy way to make you stand out and look professional! If the person in charge of hiring you is impressed with your demo and wants to hear more work, they can do that research themselves.
3. It Can Be Used as a Highlight Reel to Attract New (and Old) Fans
Who says you need to keep your demo reel private? If you've already created a demo reel and don't have a trailer for your podcast yet, it may be a good idea to just use it as a preview of your show! That, or you can spread it online to get the word out about your podcasting work.
For fans familiar with your work, a demo/highlight reel is a fun trip down memory lane that may persuade them to give another listen to their favorite episodes. If you're a podcast that does seasons, you could even make individual demo reels highlighting the best moments of each specific season, as well as an "all-time best" reel! For new folks who stumble upon your reel, it will offer them a quick pitch as to why they need to be listening to your show NOW.
If you don't have your own show but have been featured on several podcast episodes, sharing your reel online is especially important. Since you don't have a specific body of audio work to point to, showing off that you're a good guest and familiar with the biz may attract podcast creators looking to hire someone for their show. It never hurts to share your skills with the world!
Now that you know why you should be making a podcasting demo reel, are you curious to know how to make one? Stay tuned! Next week, we'll be covering the ins and outs of creating a quality demo reel for your show, or body of work.
That's about it for this week's informational article. We hope you learned something new, and happy podcasting!
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