Today’s episode of Podcast Experiments features Robbie Samuels. Robbie is a virtual event design consultant and executive producer. Robbie is best known for his ability to network. He is a speaker, author and even had his own TEDx talk on networking.
Robbie had been focused on networking for over a decade. And then come March 9, 2020. All of the things that Robbie was known for seemed to have no value in the world. Things such as having eye contact, shaking hands, business cards, and body language. Suddenly, these skills were not super relevant. On March 11, Robbie was trying to figure out how to show up and add value. The next day, he wrote an article 9 Ways To Network During A Pandemic. One of those ways was to do a virtual happy hour. Robbie decided he was going to do it the next day. He did the first one on March 13, which was the day the world hit pause.
And he’s been hosting a virtual happy hour every week since. And from that he has launched an entirely new business. He has several new ways that he creates revenue, such as a four week certification program for people who are interested in getting better at Zoom. And he also helps events go online working with different organizations. He also still has a podcast. He has been doing a podcast for over four years, and is currently at over 200 episodes.
Robbie’s business has always been served by the podcast, but it is not directly how he makes money. He says that he is the sponsor of his podcast. He has his process streamlined by having a clear intro and outro that he writes out. Every episode actually starts with that. And that's part of his marketing.
Robbie also has a VA, to help with the production of the show, like getting it onto libsyn. Then he had his VA start using Meet Edgar and getting it posted on social media. Then he hired someone to do my show notes too.
His main focus is on lining up the guests and interviewing them. Robbie knows if he was in charge of all these other pieces, the podcast wouldn't happen. And he wants his show to come out every single Tuesday.
Robbie says that one of the best benefits of podcasting is the networking aspect with the guests. He says that he has had amazing people on my show who normally wouldn't take time to talk to him. Geography no longer matters. There is no commute at all when recording a podcast. He also says that he can then nurture those relationships so they are ongoing.
The second amazing benefit is that you can share your content. When you have regular content that you are able to share with your network that's another really great benefit. Lastly, there's the fact that he gets business, from his podcast.
Special thanks to Robbie for sharing about his podcasting journey. I hope you learned as much from this interview as I did. Thanks for listening.
Today’s episode of the Podcast Experiment features Emilie Aries. Emily is the CEO of Bossed Up, an author, a speaker, and also the host of the Bossed Up Podcast. We discuss pivoting during times of crisis, using a podcast as part of your marketing mix, having an advertiser on your podcast and also the unexpected opportunities that can come your way from podcasting.
Emilie started as a professional advocate for political campaigns and elections, where she became good at advocating for other people. However, one day realized how hard it is, especially as a woman, to advocate unapologetically on your own behalf. She started Bossed Up where her company has created coaching programs, leadership accelerators, in person training programs. She now works with companies who believe in gender equality to really help further develop their women leaders.
The Bossed Up business model was based primarily on live events and workshops. So during 2020 they had to change their business model. All of Emilie’s in-person speaking contracts evaporated. All of the Bossed Up events we had planned for across the country went away and her company had to scrap everything.
Emilie realized that her company had to figure their own way out of these problems. She started to ask questions such as: “How can we offer these services online?” The answer to this question led to the creation of new online offerings. On the whole, Emilies says her business is actually going to be stronger because of Covid-19 forcing rapid innovation into the digital space.
Emily was originally recruited by a very big podcasting network called HowStuffWorks. She was offered the position as host for a major podcast. Then the podcasting network was sold and she found herself out of a job. However, by that point, she already had fallen in love with the medium.
At that time, podcasting really wasn't used for marketing. She decided to create her own podcast: Bossed Up. She thought it was an opportunity to be generous and to serve others well. For anyone who wanted more content or services, she would sell products and services to those individuals.
Emilie views using podcasting as marketing as a compromise between her artistic desires and her business requirements. Emilie has a marketing director Kirby. Together they look at the calendar as it relates to their sales goals. When creating the new podcasts, Emilie and Kirby ask, “What kinds of episodes would attract that client? How can we create fun, interesting, informative and high value episodes that also happen to attract the client we're looking for?”
Once they come to a conclusion, then that's the topic that we hammer home for a couple of weeks. There are some exceptions. For example, something might happen in the news that calls for our attention, we kind of stop the presses and focus on those current topics.
Emilie works with an advertising agency, because she is not a full time podcaster. Her role is that of CEO. An advertising agency does the work for her. Emilie admits that she is not sure if it's worth the time. It takes time to research brands and to figure out if they're a great partner for the show. Then they have to read the copy that they send over and then record it, edit it, upload it, and insert it into the podcast. And for all of this work, Emilie says that the company does not make much money.
Emilie got her book deal, because her editor at Hachette is a huge podcast fan. So she's just one of those people who is constantly poaching podcasters, to become authors. And it was a very organic partnership.
If you have a great relationship with thousands of people who have tuned into your podcast, some of them are going to buy your book. Podcasting can lead to many great opportunities as you form relationships with the listeners.
Thanks to Emilie for sharing about her podcasting journey. I hope you learned as much from this interview as I did. Thanks for listening.
Podcasting is a great way to both showcase your expertise and bring inspiring stories to your potential customers. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business, sell digital products, or offer services to clients - you can use podcasting to help you reach your customers and grow your business. But it takes both planning and persistence because podcasting is a long-game, not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Today’s episode of the Podcast Experiment features Tammy Gooler-Loeb, host of the weekly podcast Work From The Inside Out. Tammy interviews individuals who have experienced a major career transition. But today’s show focus is all about starting a podcast. Tammy is a client of mine, and she shares what she has learned in creating near 100 podcasts.
There are often two groups of podcasters. First is the group of people who dive into podcasting. It seems so simple to them. They just buy a microphone and start podcasting.
But there is another group of people who need more help. Some people are overwhelmed with the technology or recording audio. There are even occasions where some people start podcasting and then randomly stop creating new podcast episodes.
But no matter where you are, you likely need some form of help with podcasting. The great news is it is really easy today to reach out to other podcasters. Through social media, such as Facebook Groups, you can ask questions and find information from many well-established podcasters.
And that’s what Tammy did. She did her research and was ready for the launch of her podcast.
Tammy knew that many people start a show and then stop podcasting. Early on, she made the decision that this would not happen to her. She got some great advice from other more seasoned podcasters and crafted a plan. She learned first hand that it is easy to learn the foundational information about podcasting before you dive in.
Tammy shared that she uses social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to get more listeners for her podcast. She outsources this task as well. Every time an episode goes up, there's artwork for each episode, and then she posts the podcast on her website. She has show notes that she writes, and she also sends out a weekly email. Tammy has a simple system in place that allows her to share her podcast with as many people as possible.
Tammy shared that she received some emails from listeners saying, “I like your writing, I love the way you tell the story. You're a great storyteller.” So she realized she is a writer, and she never thought of herself in that way. She decided to write a book based on the content and topics from the podcast. She has used the stories of guests on the show. The book will shine a light on her podcast as well as her coaching services.
At one point, Tammy realized that she never used the word podcast host on her LinkedIn profile. She decided to take ownership and added podcast host right there under her name on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is very keyword sensitive, so Tammy started receiving LinkedIn invitations to connect with people. This change led Tammy to create a system that changed how she booked podcast guests. For example, to be a guest on her show, she requests that a potential guest listen to a few episodes and leave a rating on Apple Podcasts. Then, she asks for the individual to send a pitch about what value he or she could bring to the podcast.
Tammy also does a pre-interview for about thirty minutes before she records her podcast. The pre-interview is a time to go over questions and talking points to ensure that the interview goes smoothly. The pre-interview also helps develop a relationship with the guest. These systems help ensure that guests are engaged and provide a lot of value for the listeners.
I hope you enjoyed this episode with Tammy as she shared many valuable insights about podcasting. Tammy demonstrated the power of having a simple systems in place to improve the listener experience and create a high-quality show. Thanks to Tammy for being on the Podcast Experiment.
Today’s episode of the Podcast Experiment features Dave Jackson. He’s the host of the School of Podcasting podcast, a podcast consultant, coach, and speaker. You can connect with Dave Jackson on Twitter @davejackson or on his website schoolofpodcasting.com
Most people think it's about money, but there is more than one way to profit from your podcast. Dave mentions that he spoke to someone recently who was super introverted when they started podcasting. And now this same person is doing their podcasts via Livestream. This person now has more confidence. While that's not a form of money, that’s an example of a way to profit from a podcast. You can also grow your network and share your message with others. You can also helping other people through podcasting. For example, you could provide information that other people find useful, such as self-improvement, losing weight or getting out of debt.
Dave says that the most common question he gets is “How do I get a sponsor?” He says because we are used to hearing ads on the radio, most people think getting a sponsor is a good idea for a podcast too. However, the payment for ads is very low such as $10 for 1000 downloads. In addition, having ads on a podcast can lead to a poor listener experience for what equates to just a few dollars of income. Instead, a better idea--and more profitable idea--to sell podcast listeners your own products such as coaching, a book, or some other product that the audience wants.
One thing Dave recommends is for everyone is to start an email list. No matter what you’re doing, at some point you want to have people to take action by clicking on something. Email invites people to take action. A podcast is just audio, so email is a great way to engage even further with your audience.
Dave built a portion of his email list using lead magnets. His approach was going to Google Analytics and finding the most popular pages on his website. In exchange for an email address, he offered a printable PDF that would be useful to the website visitor. So if you’re just starting out, this is a great way to start building your email list for you too.
According to Jacobs Media, 70% of people that find a podcast find it through word of mouth. So if you can get on other podcasts as a guest or things like that or have other people on your show those are good ideas. Build your network one person at a time. Have a link to your your podcast when you send out email to your email list. And don’t forget to have links to your podcast on your website. Don’t rely on Apple podcast search or Spotify search.
It’s important to find where your listeners are. For example, Dave went to a LinkedIn event at a library, because the people attending were trying to grow their network. He knew he could help because a great way to grow your network is through podcasting. Dave also goes to events for authors that are trying to grow their listeners or their readers. So figure out who your audience is, and then go where they are. Make friends with those people. Then, at a later point, you can tell them about your podcast.
If you’re looking to profit from your podcast, Dave recently wrote a book titled Profit From Your Podcast. I personally have been a member of the School of Podcasting (affiliate link) for almost seven years. I really love the community there.
Special thanks to Dave for being on the podcast.
We're are getting ready to launch Season 7, where we will be covering everything about how to use podcasting as a marketing tool. Whether that is as a podcast host with your own podcast or going on other podcasts as a guest, this season will provide all the answers you need!
If you'd like to get specific or individual help with your podcast, simply contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to see how I can help!
I'm sharing a special announcement that I'm going to be experimenting with some other podcasts. I plan to come back and share my results here, but I can't guarantee a specific time.
Barrett Soop, together with his wife Leandra Soop, runs Be Seen Company which is a video and podcast production company. Hoping to improve his marketing skills, he ventured into podcasting. Now, Barrett is able to give people the opportunity to share their own stories through his podcast, Made In Monrovia. Aside from podcasting, Barrett also spends his time creating content for social media platforms and websites.
In this episode, Barrett shares great tips and insights for anyone who wants to start a local podcast. One of which is “In a local podcast, you need to have a view that really isn’t about you, it’s about your community as a whole and bringing it together.” Tune in for more!
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
Mark Bologna is the host of Beyond Bourbon Street, a local podcast about New Orleans. He actually talks regularly with Chris Hollifield from the I Am Salt Lake podcast, and they help each other to continue to grow in their podcasts.
Today, we’ll hear:
Mark starts by telling you how he first started with podcasting.
Key Milestones of the Episode:
Key Quotes from the Episode:
Looking for local podcasting tips? Great! Sit back, relax and listen to this episode with Chris Hollifield.
Chris Holifield is the host and producer of the I am Salt Lake podcast. Self taught in the podcasting world, he believes everyone should have an opportunity to share their story. Even though he was born and raised in California, he will always call Utah home. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Krissie, and their daughter Lucy.
In this episode, Chris shares some great tips for people who want to start a local podcast and most importantly, how to grow it. One notable advice he gives is to spend money on hiring a coach. Why? Tune in to learn more!
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
I'm preparing for Season 6 of Podcasting Experiments!
The topic I plan to cover is Geographic Podcasting. This would be like any local (city/county), state, region (i.e. Rocky Mountains), etc. that focuses on a particular geographic region.
I plan to bring people on that can share their experience of why and how they podcast locally. I'm going to compile the tips and advice to help you if you plan to start a local podcast of some sort.
If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions, please email me at email@example.com
If you need help with your podcast, check out Podcast Guy Media. I can help you launch your podcast or ongoing editing services (actually, I can help with just about anything with your podcast).
April Ockerman began podcasting about 9 months ago. She had spent about a year doing research into how to start her podcast.
While she worked through figuring out her budget for podcasting, deciding what pieces of podcasting equipment to get, which software to use for recording and editing, April also had to face her fears of getting started by realizing that she can really impact people through her podcast.
Some lessons she learned as she got started:
How April has promoted her podcast:
She recommends that everyone look into working with their local newspaper to get a story done on their podcast or podcast topic.
Her biggest pain point is monetizing her podcast. One great resource that helped her was a couple episodes of the School of Podcasting with Glenn the Geek from the Horse Radio Network.
Resources and Links:
Have you struggled to find the niche for your podcast?
Today's guest is Brain Kane from the The Real Brian Show, former host of ProfitCast and ArrowSquad. When he started The Real Brian Show, he struggled with the whole "niche" issue and, as a result, struggled with how to define his podcast to others.
Listen to his podcasting journey:
[02:00] As a kid, Brian wanted to be a morning DJ, but when he began with radio, interest in radio was fading, and it didn't pay well. He tried figuring out podcasting in 2013, and discovered Cliff Ravenscraft's Podcasting A to Z which made it easy. Joshua first found Brian when Dave Jackson and Daniel J. Lewis separately mentioning ProfitCast. Joshua and Joshua connected regarding sponsorship possibilities.
[04:30] How (or why) did Brian start podcasting? His first show was "Backstage Pass" (interviewing hip-hop artists) and then "TV Talk" (hosting podcasts about TV shows paying $80-90/hour). Brian took another course in 2014, researching how to grow an audience. Everyone charged for "the secret" and Brian interviewed people who had succeeded monetizing their podcast.
[07:20] ProfitCast lasted 110 episodes and 2 years. None of Brian's peers were making the amount of money they wanted with their shows. Ironically, a published author and public speaker Brian listened to was not interesting. After 50 episodes, the guests were dispensing the same recycled advice. He was not seeing a massive impact and felt something was missing.
[11:20] The successful people Brian was interviewing were not sharing everything, either on purpose or didn't know -- they were lucky. Podcasting can be like network marketing: if you're good at it and get in at the right time, you can be successful. They're extroverted AND good at selling. They claim anyone can be successful at podcasting (or network marketing) -- which isn't entirely true. Some people will never be "that good" at podcasting.
[13:00] The people at the top have a very unique combination of skills: charisma, extroversion, entertainment, sales, and marketing. If you don't have that unique combination, you must get creative and succeed with your own skillset. However, don't try to emulate the greats like John Lee Dumas and Cliff Ravenscraft. Observed what worked for them and apply it within your own personality.
[14:50] By 2016, podcasting was noisy compared to 2008, and Brian felt there was nothing new to say on ProfitCast. Since then, he's learned a few new things he could share. He's currently learning about achieving celebrity status, which can succeed in acquiring loyal listeners. Once you create a course or run advertising, you'll get the money.
[16:30] Many podcasters feel they've said everything there is to say but feel the pressure to keep going. Brian announced the ending and explained the timeline of that final wrap-up. Some podcasters get frustrated/discouraged and either put out junk or they pod-fade.
[18:45] If Brian ever restarted ProfitCast, he wouldn't be as nice with guests. He'd push for the answer he was looking for. Also, Brian isn't a niche person. For some reason, podcasting has become about niches. In any other form of media (i.e. Shark Tank), they hate niches. Brian is a Type 7 (Enthusiast) enneagram with a multitude of interests/talents and gets bored doing the same thing for too long. He usually won't finish a book because it doesn't keep his attention.
[21:30] After ProfitCast, Brian decided he was done talking about podcasting. He also can't talk about one single TV show anymore. Variety in your life is okay.
Three years into the Real Brian Show, it's been very tied to him as a person. He began the show wanting to talk about more but overthought it every step of the way. Just starting the radio station at the high school, morale went up. He's made people smile and helped them have a better life. People told him it needed more, but that led to further complicatations.
[25:50] The Real Brian Show was created to talk about a variety of things, and help people have a happier day. The side aspect was "Unleashing the Superhero" to embrace who you really are and be continually better. They also embraced the idea of nerding out on your passions without apology.
His big mistake was listening to too much advice and adjusting based on what others thought he should do. Brian has been bringing things back to his basic core elements plus his beliefs for the show: have a better day, and smile.
[29:20] Adults get married, find a life of responsibilities, and they stop having fun. It's time to get balance in life. Also, follow your own journey. For example, Instagram may work well for others, but not you. Instagram may also work for you at a different point in time.
[31:10] Brian is intentionally trying to break the mold. He observes what others are doing, what's working, but is his own trailblazer. He's not a teacher and wants to create a show that is valuable.
[32:30] Podcasters are taught to "get the numbers up" into tens of thousands of listeners to get advertising. However, he has loyal listeners -- his friends he made because of the show. Just because people say you should niche (or teach) doesn't make that you should. Define what success looks like for you -- it's NOT always money or thousands of listeners. Are you influencing people and creating friendships? Do your words make an impact and change lives? You don't hear that message enough.
If you found this podcast useful or interesting, please share it with a friend.
In this episode, we speak with Eric Hunley, the host of the Unstructured Podcast. He starts out by discussing the inspiration behind his podcast and the reasoning for his unique podcasting approach. Eric explains why he often brings in other people to assist him with interviewing guests and how he does not realize he is learning during each show. Then, Eric explains why he hates show notes and how he does not have time for everything because of his full-time job.
Eric Hunley is forging his path in interview style podcasts as the host of the Unstructured Podcast. Not surprisingly, it is a formula that is now being followed by many other podcasters. Eric has created over 100 interview style podcasts in less than nine months, with a gambit of podcast guests sourced from all corners of the globe. New podcasters and seasoned professionals often seek out his knowledge and have begun following his unstructured direction.
Eric started out by being an expert listener. He listened to some expert podcasters like Joe Rogan and Adam Carolla but ended up getting bored. It took Eric over ten years to start a podcast by the time he decided he would begin one because he could not decide what topic would keep him interested. His idea was to create an idea pub; the requirement for guests were people who are really cool or who do something really cool. Eric goes against all the rules of podcasting and does not niche down.
Initially, when Eric started out the show, it was all about his guests. He came to learn over time that it is not all about the guests, it is all about the audience. Eric can better serve the audience by bringing in experts. For instance, he brought in a third level black belt and invited his friend who is also a UFC fan to help with the interview. Another guest Eric had on the show is a medical intuitive, someone who is told by a spirit how to heal a patient. Being a skeptic, Eric brought in someone who grew up with alternative medicine and another person who is a hypnotist. Between all of these people, the conversation was informative and open-minded.
In a recent interview, Eric talked with Super Joe Pardo, a well-known podcaster who charges his guests to be on the show. Also, he interviewed Christopher Lochhead, another podcaster who is against the idea of guests being charged. Eric facilitated a discussion about whether or not podcasters should be charging their guests or not.
Eric is always learning and is not very disciplined on the takeaways from his show. He has not taken an active role in studying the content from his show, but he does learn material from his guests. The best interviews are when you can connect with the other person and make it feel more like a conversation rather than a formal interview.
Drew Ackerman joins us on the podcast today to talk about his podcast, Sleep with Me.
We explore several areas:
Check out his podcast here:
Jonathan Messinger is the creator of the kids podcast Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian. When his son became interested in audiobooks, he went looking for podcasts for kids. When he couldn’t find anything, he decided to create his own. He writes and performs all episodes of the podcast, with his 9year old son Griffin serving as editor.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
Podcast Engineering School – Episode 33
Best Robot Ever (All the GEN-Z podcasts)
The Unexplained Dissapearance of Mars Patel
Amanda’s podcasting journey
Amanda has just reached her 2nd podcast anniversary for her current show, Great Beer Adventure. However, it was nearly 3 years ago that she started looking at podcasting. She was a teacher, feeling depressed with a very long commute. Her husband recommended listening to Serial, and then one day said to her, ‘You could do this. You could make a podcast.’ Amanda says she never does anything by half so she dived full on into the deep end.
She always teaches herself how to do things before showing others that she’s working on it, so Amanda actually had a starter podcast that she published called Dear Diary. It was her talking into a microphone, learning the process of editing and uploading, but she has long since deleted it. Somebody told her early on that ‘your first podcast will die’ so the purpose of that first podcast was really just to be a practice and to kill it off once she knew what she was doing.
Wanting to go after something she felt passionate about, once she was comfortable, Amanda started Great Beer Adventure in 2015. These days, she is no longer teaching and spends her days doing podcast- and beer-related things fulltime. The podcast itself isn’t a full-time job but Amanda also does social media for a malt company, is putting together an event for beer geeks, and is helping Jessica Kupfermann with a program. Without the podcast none of that would be possible and she’s glad she’s been able to make up her own job.
Podcasting in the wild
First and foremost, Amanda makes a point to go where her people are. She calls it ‘podcasting in the wild’. The show is about people’s stories and their passions around craft beer and she’s talked to everybody in the industry, from malstsers, hops farmers, brewers and the people that clean the tap lines. She wants them to feel the most comfortable so they’ll tell her their innermost fears and joys—if she can make somebody cry, she gets excited—so she has recorded in hops fields, warehouses, breweries, tap rooms and bars. The only thing that ever gets recorded not out in the wild is the intro and outros, and occasionally a special episode via Skype.
Amanda has two set ups of equipment for this type of podcasting. If she’s recording an interview, she’ll set up her ZoomH6 with either ATR2100 or ATR2005 microphones on barrels or tabletops. Alternatively, at events, she uses a leather harness with a mic and Zoom H2N so she can do vox pop (she said popvoxing…but I think it’s supposed to be voxpop?) clips with various people at the event. The feedback from listeners is that they like this because the mics pic up both the voices and the ambiance sounds. Listeners feel like they’re at the event. Plus, in recording on location, the guests feel more comfortable so Amanda finds she is able to get past the PR jargot pretty quickly. It’s been a wonderful way to get to know people.
Despite the name of the show, the guests don’t necessarily talk about the beer that much. Amanda is also clear that the show isn’t about reviewing the beer or talking about the flavors. It’s about the stories behind the beer and the passion people bring to this industry. She’s working on having some different segments and including different voices, including working with correspondents to bring in breweries from all around the world.
The evolution of the show notes
Amanda has done a bunch of different things with the show notes. She says she has done what you’re supposed to do, what she wanted to do and then threw all of that into the fan and let I come out the otherside. Now she gives the raw audio to her editor and instead of just recapping the show, he makes the show notes into more of a story. The blog post that accompanies each episode includes his reaction to the episode. It’s a little deeper than the traditional bullet points or paragraphs people are used to.
Amanda’s goals for the show
Amanda has two main goals for the show. Firstly, she has an insatiable curiosity and wants to know how everything works, so she’s loved being able to do that. Secondly, her goal is to help people learn all that goes into their craft beer, and help new people find and learn to love craft beer. If you like coffee or wine or spirits, there are different beers out there for you.
To do all the recording on location, there is obviously a lot of travel involved. Amanda’s first step was to ‘take Maine by storm’ and at this point she feels she has done that. There are over 90 breweries in the state and although she hasn’t featured all of them, she’s covered a lot.
Engage with your audience where they are
The next step is to take on the world, which means more travel outside of Maine. Whenever she goes to events she will visit breweries and bring her microphone. Recently Amanda went to MAPCON (Mid Atlantic Podcast Conference) in Philly and on the way she visited breweries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Similarly, she’s done some day trips to New Hampshire and also recorded in Orlando on a trip to PodFest.
Amanda also utilizes correspondents from around the world so that she can share the stories of craft beer from places she can’t travel herself. She encourages people to talk to their local brewers and the people in the tap rooms, to get to know them and submit a 7 – 10 minute piece of audio.
That’s also her advice to other podcasters: find ways to engage with your audience where they are physically located. Think about how you can actually get out there and get out of your own comfort zone!
Find out more from Amanda:
You can follow Amanda on Instagram @greatbeeradventure or find out more on the website, www.GreatBeerAdventure.com
Today’s guest is Doc Kennedy from the Filmaker’s Focus podcast. He is one of the guests who contributed to the Season 4 series on Narrative Podcasting, and he’s on the show today to share some updated information. Along with being a podcaster, Doc is also a film maker, and working towards being an actor and a stand-up comedian. Being a film maker, he brought a different perspective on narrative podcasting than many of the other guests, and was able to bring in a lot of parallels from video and acting. Today, we will revisit this.
In the time since Doc was last on the podcast, there have been ever-increasing changes and improvements to technology. For example, cell phone cameras have gone from little grainy pictures to 4K. It’s insane how much things have changed even just in the last couple of years. Because of this, Doc’s perspective has changed somewhat too, and he feels some of the advice he gave last time is now outdated.
Doc’s advice is to start with the basics. Some people are producing videos online that look good but sound terrible. If you can’t get the video to at least match the audio, he says don’t make it. Sound and lighting is the thing that separates you from or makes you an amateur. If you have to choose from the two, take the sound, because you can look at a picture and think ‘it’s ok’ but if the sound is bad it’s unlistenable. The majority of things today will have half-decent video because most cameras these days are so good that you can work around shoddy lighting. If you’re going to hire out for anything, hire an audio guy. That’s how important it is. If you see a video that looks good but sounds horrible, you will turn it off. It’s that simple. Make sure you’re getting quality audio and do what you can for solid lighting.
Doc says if you can afford it, hire somebody that has the proper gear and knows what they’re doing. It’s one thing to have a mic but it’s another thing to know how to record. There’s a huge difference between recording audio for a film versus recording a podcast episode. In the podcast, usually you’re in a contained environment. In a narrative setting, the elements might be a little out there so you need to be aware of the little sounds that you’re hearing the background. At least reach out to someone in your area who has the gear and let them guide you on what to get and what’s available in your area.
Doc hesitates to list specific brands of quality gear because things are changing so quickly. However, he suggests looking at getting a basic shot-gun mic, and doing your research. There are some amazing tutorial videos on YouTube that provide great videos of comparisons between two microphones, which can be really helpful. You want the professional level, but make sure you do your homework.
The importance of pre-production
Doc is really big on pre-production. He says podcasts are often rushed but in film making they don’t do rushed projects, everything is planned out. He likes having a solid game plan in place, making sure everyone has the right gear and there are the right people to operate that gear, and that the production is as great sounding as it looks.
The more planning you do up front the easier it is on the back end. In Doc’s freelance work, planning also helps when managing the client. If you do the preproduction there is a blueprint set up of what the client can expect so if they come back and say they aren’t happy or it isn’t what they expected, you can refer back to the pre-production blueprint. A lot of times people don’t understand what it takes to make a video or what that video may look like in the end. In that kind of client situation, ask if they’ve seen a video or movie that they want their video to look like. That makes it comfortable for client and creator and gives time to clarify whether the creator can actually create what the client is asking for or whether they need to refer on. Doc says pre-production meetings can drag out though, so he recommends doing pre-production for your meeting on pre-production!
Applying the screen-writing approach to podcast planning
Doc suggests writing out the podcast planning as a screenplay because having the blueprint is really vital. His opinion is that if we don’t know where we’re going, we’re going to get there and where we end up isn’t going to be good. If you aren’t good at writing and don’t feel comfortable about it, find someone who is. Make sure that you get something written out so everyone on your team knows where you’re going, even if the team is just you.
If you’re doing something with multiple characters, you can start visualizing what that character should be. Pre-production isn’t the most fun part, and for Doc he doesn’t enjoy the post-work editing either. He finds the best part is actually filming the piece. However, it’s important to appreciate the pre-production process because it makes everything else seamless.
Do the best with the equipment you have
Doc advises not to get too caught up in the newest, upgraded technology. In terms of cameras, 4K is really popular right now and it’s growing. If you have a DSLR, don’t be ashamed that it isn’t 4K. Use it. There’s a feature film on Netflix right now that was shot entirely with an iPhone! But this iPhone film had solid audio. If you’re doing things correctly and you’re giving a picture that’s worthy of the audio, you’re fine. Don’t worry about what the newest, greatest thing is, don’t be in a rush to upgrade it, just do the best with what you’ve got.
Doc is keen to answer questions from listeners. He didn’t go to school for video production, he learned it all from mentors. The mentors meant a lot to him so the least he can do is help others in the same way, which is why he does his podcast.
Find Doc at filmakersfocus.com or follow him @filmakersfocus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And if you’d like to, you can follow Doc’s comedy @dockcomedy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Today’s guest is Jessica Rhodes from The Podcast Producers.
Reasons to do narrative style
Planning and Preparation for a Series
Tips for having a good interview
The editing process
Strategic Elements of the Stories and Transitions
Repurposing the interview content that didn’t make it
Today’s guest is Geoff Woods from the podcast The Mentee.
There is a change of direction in the podcasting world, ever since Serial, where narrative podcasting has become more popular. We are still at the very beginning of the bell curve of podcasting’s popularity because we’re still in the realm of the early adopter. Many people still don’t know what podcasting is.
There is going to be an increasing need for podcasts because it will become more popular and the professionals are realizing it. There are narrative journalists who did that as their profession who are bringing that talent and skill set to the podcasting world. With that, you’re starting to see podcasts coming out with incredibly high production quality and budgets for production as well. You don’t have to do that to compete moving forward, but recognize that the quality is going through the roof and if you want to stand out you have to do things differently.
Advice for narrative podcasters
Hooks in the podcast to entice listeners
Erik K. Johnson
Daniel J. Lewis
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is a quote from Benjamin Franklin. It applies to many areas of life, and it applies to creating a narrative podcast as well.
My name is Joshua Rivers, and I’m helping to guide you through this journey into narrative podcasting. So, we’ve learned what a narrative is and whether you should even try this. We’ve also climbed the mountain to get the 30,000 foot view of the narrative process.
Today we will be looking at creating a plan, and it’s best to start with the end so you know where you’re going. I asked Bryan Orr about this…
Bryan Orr: You waste more time…
As we speak to the others, we’ll see this thought of having a plan and knowing where you are going. It really does help a lot when piecing together the story arc.
Bryan Orr says that are basically two types of stories…
Bryan Orr: Some are content centric…
Bryan Orr: Writing intensive…
Bryan Orr: So when you start off with the timeline…
Corey Coates and Jessica Rhodes created what Bryan is calling a content centric podcast series with the first season of The Podcast Producers (which they are now in the middle of the second season).
Corey Coates: I think it always starts with the story arc…
I love the idea of breaking the ideas down into chapters. I see this in a couple ways. First of all, when creating a series, each episode can be viewed as a chapter of the story. Secondly, if you’re looking at a single episode, there will be several sections, or you could say chapters.
Try to logically lay things out so that similar things are grouped together and flow from one part to the next. In episodes 7 and 8 of this series, we’ll dive into more ideas of doing this while still enticing the listener to keep listening and how to flow from one to the next.
Jessica Rhodes: You need to know and have a good understanding of who your audience is…
We probably should have started here. Who is your listener? Who are you targeting?
Jessica Rhodes: …and also what story arc is…
Doc Kennedy: Everything scripted…
Doc Kennedy works in the film making industry as well as in the world of podcasting.
Doc Kennedy: I would set it up like…
One aspect of the podcast that needs to be thought about is the voices. We’ll get into actually picking and finding the right people in the next episode, but during the planning stage, you need to really consider how multiple voices can create a third dimension for the audio.
Doc Kennedy: If I could, I would definitely have multiple people…
Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting also agrees that writing things down to help jog the inspirational juices and to organize your thoughts.
Dave Jackson: For me, I wrote it down…
Dave Jackson: …and there was this whole skit
Rye Taylor: If you’re going to do a narrative…
This is Rye Taylor.
Rye Taylor: Once you take that step…
Rye Taylor: It’s hard to describe this…
Erik K. Johnson: So I think your first step…
This is Erik K. Johnson, Podcast Talent Coach.
Erik K. Johnson: I think the most difficult part…
Rye Taylor: You’ve got to decide…
Learning to focus the story on one main person is an effective way to bring perspective. It also gives you a boundary and direction or how to tell the story.
Rye Taylor: Once you get that…
Most of what we’ve talked about looks at telling stories that have either already happened or that we create. What about approaching something that is either currently happening or is still in the future. Daniel J. Lewis brings his perspective.
If you haven’t listened to the first episode of this series, go back and listen to that first. We covered what a narrative podcast is and whether you should or shouldn’t pursue this format of podcasting.
Assuming now that you’ve considered those, we’ll cover an overview of the process of creating a narrative podcast in this episode. We won’t go into a lot of detail, as we will delve into the different parts in future episodes; but you’ll be able to see the big picture.
This episode is going to be a little different than the rest. There are only going to be three guests with us – Jessica Rhodes, Erik K. Johnson, and Jessica Abel. The majority of the episode will be my voice. The rest of the episodes will be featuring more of the guests and less of me.
In addition to the overview or roadmap, I’ll be sharing a couple other things here that are key to making the process easier or better – or hopefully both.
From Interview Connections, Jessica Rhodes is the host of the Rhodes to Success podcast and the co-host of The Podcast Producers along with Corey Coates. She realized the importance of having a team.
I haven’t followed this advice yet, as I’m working on this series alone, other than the contributions from those I was able to interview. I am, however, talking with someone about helping form some of the later episodes. This should help make it easier and have a better product in the end. I’ll definitely report on this later.
Erik K. Johnson talks about crafting stories on his podcast, Podcast Talent Coach.
Erik shares 4 main parts of a narrative.
These four parts help to structure what you probably already knew in the back of your mind. For a more in-depth process for our purposes, though, I want to share the extensive process that Roman Mars shared in his presentation at Podcast Movement 2015. He is the host of 99 Percent Invisible, which is a narrative or journalistic style podcast with high production value.
Roman Mars has a team that he works with, and it take them several weeks to put together one episode of the podcast. I’m not completely positive, but I believe that they work on multiple stories at a time, overlapping them. I say this because they do release weekly episodes.
I know that this is a generalization, but I would venture to say that the average podcaster has a very simple process or workflow.
As a general rule, I believe that most podcasters are in a rush to release the episodes because they are trying to keep to a schedule or because they’ve already blown their schedule. This is mostly due to a little thing called life. This is completely understandable since the vast majority of podcasters are doing this on the side of their jobs and families. In the rush, though, the process is simplified and the easiest path is usually taken.
Roman Mars, though, shared his process, and the process is probably similar in other high production podcasts and organizations that produce audio like this. Here’s a quick rundown of this workflow:
Research enough to pitch idea to group
Adjust story concept
Pick interview subjects
Write first draft of script
“Read to tape” as group
Listen to the rough as a group
Another group edit
Rough sound design
Listen as a group
Fix sound design
Pass off your final master
Fix based on notes
Are you overwhelmed at this list?
In this episode of the Creative Studio, we are launching into the 4th season (or semester) of the podcast. We will be delving into the world of narrative podcasting. This will include similar higher-level production as well, such as documentary and journalistic styles. A lot of the principles will also apply to any podcast and the way approach the development of them.
In this first episode, we will give an overview of what a narrative podcast is, if you should consider this style for yourself or not, and a little bit about narrative podcasting in general.
You'll also get introduced to the eleven guests that will show up throughout the season. You will hear from multiple guests as we focus on a particular part of the process in each episode. Here are the eleven guests:
Daniel J. Lewis
Erik K. Johnson
As we go through this season, each episode will focus on one aspect of the narrative process:
Episode 1: Beginning with Narrative Podcasting (pssst...this is where you are now)
Episode 2: Roadmap for Narrative Podcasting
Episode 3: Planning Your Narrative Podcast
Episode 4: Preparing Your Narrative Podcast
Episode 5: Recording Your Narrative Podcast
Episode 6: Editing Your Narrative Podcast
Episode 7: Enticing Your Listener with a Narrative Podcast
Episode 8: Flowing From One Part of the Narrative to the Next
Episode 9: Picking Up the Pieces Left on the Cutting Room Floor
Episode 10: Learning and Resources for Narrative Podcasting
In the next episode, we will cover the overall process of creating a narrative. This will be a quick overview of the above steps, giving you a better idea of what to expect. You'll also learn some additional tips to help with keeping things in order and on track.
Confession: I am learning these things as we go through this. I am not an expert in this field...yet.
Confession 2: One suggestion that will come up involves having a partner or a team. Other than the contributions from the guests, I did all of this myself. The lesson - follow the advice, not my example in this!
If you have any questions, comments, or other feedback, please join in the conversation! You can add a comment below or contact me. While I've conducted the interviews already and have generally slated what will be in each episode to come, nothing is finalized. I am leaving room to add your thoughts to the show.
This is a bonus episode for our series on how to podcast.
Brad Clayton from the Entrepreneur Uncovered podcast comes on to share some of the struggles that he's had over the past couple months getting started with his first podcast.
There are a TON of resources for podcasters to help them take their podcast to the next level. I'm going to be listing just a few of them here.
To start off, here are some of the podcasts about podcasting I listen to regularly:
School of Podcasting
The Audacity to Podcast
Podcast Answer Man
Ask the Podcast Coach
Podcast Review Show
The Podcasters’ Studio
Podcast Talent Coach
The Podcast Report
The Podcast Producers
There are many other podcasts and blogs about podcasting, and you can find a great list at PodcastPlaces.com, which is a resource put together by Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.
Every week, I get all of my iTunes reviews from around the world sent to my inbox via MyPodcastReviews.com (another awesome service from Daniel J. Lewis). If you were to manually check on these, you would need to go through a long process of check each country's store in iTunes.
Pretty Link Lite
Social Subscribe and Follow
Pod to Pod
Phillip Swindall (Show Notes Guy) created a library of resources for podcasters. This library includes tons of information on the following aspects of podcasting to prepare you to launch, or even to re-launch your podcast to a more successful future:
Social Marketing, and
For a limited time, you may be able to get this great resource for $49 (normally $299).
Podcast Production Services
As I've mentioned before, I am helping podcasters to take their podcasts to the next level and recover their time. I started doing this in February 2015 through PodcastGuy.co. If you use the discount code "CSA", you can receive 20% off the first month of whichever package you choose. Plus, the first episode is always free.
One of my clients, Scott Barlow, created this video, sharing his comments about us working together.
Shawn Manaher is the host of the Author Hangout and the Sidepreneurs podcasts, and comes on today to share his tips about podcasting and podcast promotion. In episode 101 of the Sidepreneurs podcast, Shawn shared 101 tips that he has learned regarding podcasting.
Shawn start by sharing his best podcasting tips:
[Tweet "Absolutely everything will take long, be harder, and won't matter as much as you think. - @ShawnManaher #podcasting"]
[Tweet "Create templates for everything. Systematize everything as much as possible. - @ShawnManaher #podcasting"]
Follow your routine!
What is the greatest tip that Shawn has been able to gather from the many interviews he's done?
On his podcast, Shawn asks his guest what the number one thing that contributes to their ongoing success. A common answer among high-level performers is to have and follow a routine. This helps to get them in the flow and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do.
Shawn's promotion tips
New and Noteworthy in iTunes
Strategic tweeting 20+ times per day to connect with influencers
Create systems and utilize virtual assistants
Strategic posting on social media
Create Quote posts for each episode
Include an image with social media posts
Be consistent with your promotion
Bonus session next week
I originally planned on having this session conclude this series, but I feel compelled to bring one more. There are a lot of resources available to podcasters. I'm going to share some of those next week.
Over the summer, we'll be having our Semester 4. These sessions will be scaled back some between June and August. I am working on getting back to the original intent of this site and podcast, which is to create resources that are easy for people to get and consume.
One of the resources will be some tutorials/courses about podcasting. I'll be using some of the content from the podcast episodes that we have done in Semester 3, but there will be much more content as well. I will be creating several levels of accessibility to these: some will be completely free and available, some will be for those subscribed to the newsletter, and some may be used in a paid/premium course.
I am doing some podcast production, and I'd love to help you with your podcast. As a listener of this podcast, I will give you a discount if you use the code 'CSA' when you inquire about one of the three packages on PodcastGuy.co.
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