I’m in the happy process of putting my first podcast together. I had hoped it would be out tomorrow but alas, just like my bathroom renovations, things are taking slightly longer than I anticipated, so it looks like Change the Game will hit the iTunes shelves next week rather than tomorrow as I’d hoped.
In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to hear some of the behind the scenes of what it takes to put a podcast together. Just in case you’re thinking of becoming a podcasting superstar at some point…
Here’s what I’ve got:
1. Why I started the podcast #1 – I started because I’ve always loved the format of audio broadcasting. I used to think it was because I live in an art deco place and I’m inadvertently channeling the 1920s vibe here, but I love nothing more than sitting down with a cup of tea or glass of wine and tuning into some audio entertainment or information. I find it less energetically violent than the television and an all round pleasant experience. (The TV thing was something I became acutely aware of when I had chronic fatigue – just how intense the energy is that comes off our screens. My poor body couldn’t handle it.)
Takeaway #1: Work in the mediums that appeal to you rather than the ones you think you ‘should’.
2. Why I started the podcast #2 – I love teaching. Always have, probably always will. When other kids played mothers and fathers as a child, I pretended to be a school teacher. I love it and podcasting gives me the chance to do more of it. Needless to say Change the Game is going to be more of a teaching podcast than a case study/interview based thing.
Takeaway #2: Notice what you love doing and find ways to do more of it.
3. Why I started the podcast #3 – I had something to say and I thought I’d probably still have something to say about it when I’m on my 100th episode and potentially feeling a bit over the whole thing.
That might sound flippant, but this is a genuine test I think you should do before you jump into a new venture; am I going to like it when the shine has worn off and I’m just faced with rolling out episode after episode after episode? If not, find something else to do. The internet is very messily filled with people’s half started projects that they got really inspired by and which they then dropped when they realised that actually it was going to take quite a lot of commitment to keep showing up and delivering on their promise.
Takeaway #3: When you make a commitment, take a moment to fast forward a year or so and check in, is it likely I’m still going to be into this months or years down the track?
4. What it takes to put it together #1 – you need some audio equipment. My fellow yoga and meditation teachers, this is where we have an advantage over many others because if you’re like me, you’ve probably been recording meditations or guided visualisations for a few years now. For every one else, get the best microphone you can afford. I use a Wharfedale with a mixer. It’s not the most intuitive thing in the world (I literally cried the first time I tried to understand how the mixer works) but the quality is good. I’m not even close to using all the features, but I have a fantasy that some day a mixer expert will mosey on into my office and share their genius with me. Or I’m just going to buy a Blue Yeti that plugs into the USB port on my computer and be done with the whole mixing malarkey.
Takeaway #4: You can choose to make technology as complicated and intimidating as you like. When in doubt, keep it simple.
5. What it takes to put it together #2 – free resources! I literally learned everything I need to know about putting a podcast together from John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn. They’ve put out amazing free resources that take you step by step through the whole thing. (And see those links to their names? That’s where you’ll find those wondrous resources.)
Takeaway #5: The internet is full of amazing information and some of it is surprisingly useful!
6. What it takes to put it together #3 – research. I did two things in advance of sitting down to actually write and record the podcast content. Firstly I checked with you whether you’d be interested in listening to a podcast. Over 85% of the people who responded to my recent survey said yes. That was enough for me to green light the project. Then I then spent most of my exercise, cooking and bathing time listening to podcasts. I listened to business podcasts but I also listened to a whole lot of other categories (I prefer to take my inspiration from outside of my industry wherever possible). I noted what the best of the best were doing, I noted different styles and formats, I noted different voices and content. With all of that information to hand, I decided on what I think will work best for us and I moved forward from there.
Takeaway #6: Immerse yourself in any new world you’re looking to become a part of, before you take the plunge.
7. What it takes to put it together #4 – teams. For far too long I’ve been running the business on a minimal team and I really believe it has slowed down the growth of the business quite a lot. On this one I decided not to do that. Instead I had one person do the logo, another do the intro and outro, another do the post-recording editing, and my trusty developer is coding as we speak.
If you don’t want to put that kind of team together just yet, at a minimum I’d suggest some support around the editing process. I’ve been editing my own audios for years and believe me, it’s time consuming and because that’s not my profession, it hasn’t produced as good a result as I would have achieved if I’d just paid someone to do it.
Takeaway #7: Teams build your business faster than you could ever do it on your own. (Even if you’re as efficient as a Swiss army knife.)
8. What comes up when you’re putting it together – fears around being seen or heard. I was happily recording away recently only to find myself woken in the middle of the night to a huge amount of fear coming up about being judged, about people thinking the podcast is crap, about haters on the internet, and around being ignored completely and the whole thing being a big waste of time. (Note: fears aren’t always consistent. In fact, they’re often contradictory.)
Takeaway #8: Fears are invariably going to show up when you do something new. (Perfectionists take note – it won’t be perfect the first time you do it. Do it anyway.) And be sure you have some tools at hand to clear your fears. Which… oh wait! Is exactly what I’ll be sharing in Change the Game! How convenient 🙂
So while I get busy tagging MP3 files and writing up show notes and flying to conferences in sunny locations, enjoy the week ahead and I’ll see you next week with the launch of Change the Game. Yay!
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