I have just returned home from Problogger Event 2014, full of fresh ideas and new blogger-year resolutions! One of the biggest takeaways from Problogger, for me, was Chris Ducker and Pat Flynn’s session on Podcasting. If I have a sore wrist and no useable pens it’s because I spent most of the weekend furiously scribbling down everything these two blokes had to say.
Upon returning home, I felt renewed enthusiasm to edit the 10 podcast interviews sitting in my to-do box and got stuck into my recent interview with Guy Kawasaki (you can listen to it here), but as I listened, the colour drained from my face (find out why below). I realised that I still had much to learn about this medium, and the lessons shared at Problogger over the weekend were worth every cent it took for me to attend.
It was great to see how the professionals do podcasting when they have access to purpose-built studios and latest, great sound equipment (not to mention fast broadband, ehem). However, there are unique challenges a solo business owner or entrepreneur faces when working from home, so I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things I wish I’d known before we started The Social Media Panel.
Firstly, let’s look at why you should even bother with a Podcast show at all.
Why do a podcast show
Podcasting is such a powerful medium. Not only is it easy and quick, but you get to talk to the most amazing people if you do an interview-style show like mine. Talking to influential people in your field has the side-benefit of establishing a relationship with them, or at least the beginnings of one, and that makes it easier to break the ice when you meet in person at live events. I find meeting people at live events daunting, and often can’t think of anything intelligent to say, so this is a great strategy for me–and perhaps for you too. Podcast shows are also easy for the listener. You can listen to a podcast show on the go, at the park with the kids, in the car or at the gym.
What I wish I’d known before I got started
Okay, so now that I’ve established podcasting is a worthwhile endeavour, I want to share with you 5 things I’ve learned that I wish I knew before getting started. These tips are particularly relevant if you have kids. They may not be the tips you were expecting…. so read on.
1. Don’t ever wear high heels or boots in an echoey house while interviewing someone.
My house is high on a hill. It’s a pole home, which means it’s up on high wooden stilts and boy does it echo. [tweetherder]When Chris Ducker said, “please, for the love of God, do not record in an echoey room,” I knew I had to move house![/tweetherder] I kid you not, I am moving house!
The other week when I was recording my podcast interview with Guy Kawasaki, I was also walking around the house in my brand new boots. Big mistake. When I went to edit the show, I could clearly hear the clunk, clunk, clunk of my boots in the background. What was I thinking? If you have excess energy like me and you need to move around while talking to people, wear socks. Also, make sure you find a quiet space that does not echo. Test where is the best spot for you to record in if you’re recording from your home office.
2. Create signs to let your kids and anyone who knocks at the door know that you’re recording a podcast interview.
My kids are usually great when I have to do a webinar or teleclass but they have this habit of starting fights or blaring their games loudly right when I start a podcast interview. No amount of charades will get the message across, so you need to be clear. Write a sign for anyone who makes noise and stick it on the fridge, in their faces and on the front door. I say the front door because, the other day, right when I was in the middle of asking Guy lots of riveting questions, a tradesperson knocked on the door to get me to sign something. Oh, I wish I had a sign!
Just in case this ever happens to you, here’s one you can download (says “I’m Recording”) and here’s the “Mum’s Recording” version. Please feel free to share this post on your social networks so your friends can access it too. Of course, if your kids can’t read yet, be sure to make arrangements to do your podcast somewhere else or get a babysitter in to attend to their needs, or if they’re in school, just don’t schedule podcast show interviews until they’re out the door.
3. Never multi-task while you are recording a podcast show.
As busy entrepreneurs and business owners we have a lot on our plates and on any given day we could have multiple meetings and tasks. Catching up on your invoicing or getting ready to go out are two things you should never do while recording a podcast interview. I’ll make a confession here. I’ve been guilty of multi-tasking while recording podcast interviews on a few occasions, but I am changing my hyperactive ways thanks to Chris and Pat’s talk. Even though a podcast can be recorded over the phone, it’s not the same as talking smack with your girlfriends. You can do your make up, brush your teeth and make toast for the kids while on the phone to your friends, but not during a podcast interview.
I can tell when I’m distracted upon listening back to an interview and if I can tell, that means my interviewee can tell. [tweetherder]Give your interviewees the respect they deserve and give them your undivided attention.[/tweetherder] If your kids interrupt or someone knocks at the door, use the sign in point 2 above and if you really need to break the conversation to attend to something, excuse yourself for a minute and start the question again. You can always go back and edit later.
4. Put relevant keywords into the podcast episode title, not just the interviewee’s name.
One of the terrific points I picked up from Chris and Pat was not just to rely on the name of your interviewee in the episode title but to make sure you say what that particular show is about. Otherwise you’ll just look like every other podcaster who has interviewed the same people. Differentiate yourself and say why your show is worth listening to. Remember that people searching for podcast shows on iTunes are searching by topic for the most part, not by the names of the famous people you interview.
5. Kickstart your iTunes podcast by posting at least 5 podcast shows at once.
[tweetherder]One of the hottest tips shared by Chris Ducker was to kickstart any new podcast show with at least five episodes on iTunes.[/tweetherder] If you’re using Soundcloud or similar to host your recordings, that means have five episodes good to go before you link it to iTunes. The reason for this is to make sure you hit the New and Notable section in iTunes with a bang to encourage subscriptions and reviews. To this day, our podcast has no reviews (big sad face) even though we’ve interviewed some amazing people, and our blog posts about the show have been shared widely. That tells me that people haven’t been subscribing via iTunes and our show has been lost in the iTunes ether. Oh Chris Ducker, where were you when we started our show back in February??
If you don’t want your podcast show to be lost in the iTunes jungle, be sure to encourage subscriptions right from the start and in every post you publish about your podcast show. Also, maybe consider running a fun competition to encourage subscriptions and reviews.
In fact, that’s a great idea! We’d really love some reviews, so if you like the show, please go ahead and leave a review.
Please tweet a link to your review @casmccullough with the hashtag #smpreviewcomp and I will pick the best review (in my opinion) to win a copy of my Content Marketing On-demand Training Program retailing at $197.*
Competition opens Septemer 3rd, AEST and closes September 8th, AEST, 5pm.
The winner will be selected by me and chance plays no part in the result.
This comp is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform.
Over to You
I hope you’ve enjoyed my five podcasting tips. I will soon be starting a new podcast show for my new blog over at the Your Brilliant Un-Career website (for my new book). I was going to just do user-generated interviews, however, after listening to Chris and Pat, I’ve realised that listening to stories is so much more fun and powerful. If you’re a woman corporate escapee, please consider applying to be on the show. You can do that via the Brilliant Un-Career Facebook Page (formerly Support a WAHP) here.
Have you considered starting a podcast show? If you do have one that you run from your home office, what are your key tips? Leave a comment below!