I first investigated podcasting when I attended Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) 2014 in San Diego, Ca.
It's an annual event put on by Social Media Examiner and they know how to do it right. So much so that I attended again in 2015. My first foray into learning about all things social media was a great experience. I attended sessions delivered by experts in each platform and learned what I liked and didn’t like.
I also met some great people. One guy said “you should look into podcasting”. I thought, maybe next year. I have to sponge this stuff up first. Next year came around and I sat in all podcasting sessions at SMMW 2015. I had already been doing research on my own. The gold standard IMO is John Lee Dumas.
I joined his Podcaster’s Paradise group, learned what equipment to get, how to edit, how to get into iTunes and other delivery sites, and away I went.
JLD’s (as he calls himself) Facebook group is full of novices and experts more than willing to help out with questions, feedback on podcast art, and are some of the most generous people on the planet. I’ve met a bunch of them at SMMW and Podcast Movement 2016 and I can honestly say that I consider them my friends as well as mentors.
I started out using my PC to record using Skype and Pamela. Pamela is recording software for the PC. Most times it works. When it doesn’t, I have to reboot. I’ve had a couple incidences where I’ve had to reschedule a recording session because even after a reboot, Pamela went out to lunch. I also have a Mac so I’ve switched to recording on that using Skype and eCamm recorder. Talk about awesome software.
Being the goofy geek that I am, and the fact that I’ve been using a PC for over 20 years and a Mac for a few months, I’m transfer the audio files to my PC to edit. Go figure. It actually has to do with my PC keyboard. It’s a type M. M stands for “mmm, mmm, good” for me. It’s the old type where there are actual springs under each key so there’s more pressure and as an extra added bonus, it clicks! Makes it easier to type with less typos.
When it comes to editing, I use Audacity. I’m pretty good with that but I haven’t explored all that it can do yet because I haven’t needed to. I also have Adobe Audition that I really need to start using. Why is it still sitting there? Two words – learning curve. When I’m editing, I have to edit. I usually don’t have extra time to sit and learn. I need to set aside time for that. Where did all those hours in the day go?
There was an interview that I did a few months ago that had some yucky noise in the recording. Not regular noise, but white noise type yucky noise. I opened the recording file in Audacity and tried to clean the sound quality. It kinda improved a little but not to where I really had hoped it would sound. Then came my "Eureka!" moment.
I took that semi-cleaned up recording and opened it in Audition. Using the tools in Audition, I processed the file again and BINGO – clean recording. Awesome! Being the coward that I am, I opened the recording back in Audacity to edit it (it’s a time thing). Gotta get off my butt and learn how to use Audition.
Each guest is unique and so is their story. Some of my guests have been entrepreneurs for years and some are just starting out. One running theme is their passion for their (fill in the blank here) business. Some had a hobby that’s now making them money. Others fell into their business by accident. I’ve learned about my guests, but I’ve also learned how to podcast.
One thing that I should have done sooner is listen to my episodes again. I’m doing that now as I create my “Spiel” free eBook. I’ve found that I use the same phrases for each episode so I’m trying to change them up to lower the “yawn” factor (as in boring). I certainly don’t want to bore anyone. I’ve also learned that when guest dry up, publish a classic episode (aka rerun). That was a huge piece of wisdom from a guest who’s also a podcaster.
It’s also smart to listen to other podcasts to see what others are doing – what works, what doesn’t work, and who shines in the podcasting space. When we’re little we all thought we’d be special when we grew up. Life has shown me that some are more special than others. Those others, like me, just have to work a little harder to make our own opportunities.
We may not all have that original thought that’ll make us millionaires, but there’s nothing wrong with learning from the best, and others, to help propel us to the next level.
I went through a dry spell trying to find guests. I sent emails via LinkedIn and reached out to others in Podcaster’s Paradise. I heard crickets. Then I went to networking events with my 30 second elevator pitch (yeah it was in a restaurant, not an elevator) and even though I used one of my favorite four letters words in my pitch - “free”, crickets. Really? I’m offering them free marketing for their company and the don’t beat my door down? Really?
Personally I love free offers. Could be that these people don’t know what a podcast is. Time to learn.
Since I don’t currently have a product or service (aka money making business), my podcast is considered a hobby. It’s a big commitment as a hobby. But it’s fun! I’m working on parlaying it into a business. My projects are – a book, speaking gigs, and an online course. All in good time.
The book is first and it’s a time suck. But most worthwhile endeavors are, aren’t they? Once the book is done I’ll have something to speak about. All of these projects should be related, but they’re not. It would make for an easier business model.
Oh well. I’ve not always taken the most logical or easy road to get to a goal. But at least I'm walking towards it.