Toward the end of December 2018, on a flight home from the UK, I was staring at my iPhone, trying to decide on what I would set as my personal and professional goals for the coming year.
Within the notes app, under the heading “Career Goals,” I typed: Start a RE/MAX of Western Canada Podcast. I added several other goals, but podcasting remained at the top of the list.
Nine months and 24 episodes later, I’m happy to say The RE/MAX Hustle Podcast has been a successful and worthwhile project. Below are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.
1) Attention has value; podcasts get attention
I don’t think I would’ve had the passion to start a podcast if I hadn’t first become a podcast consumer myself. My podcast addiction began the day I couldn’t decide on what song to listen to in my iTunes library. I had access to thousands of options, but I was sick of all of my downloaded music. I downloaded a Gary Vaynerchuk podcast. Then I downloaded a Joe Rogan podcast. Then I asked all my Facebook friends what their favourite podcasts were and downloaded an episode of each suggestion. I was hooked.
I’m currently a Franchise Coordinator with RE/MAX of Western Canada, but I used to be a Communications Coordinator within the RWC Advertising Department. In my prior role, I learned it was becoming increasingly difficult to capture consumers’ attention for anything longer than a few seconds. But podcast listeners are different. They’ll share minutes (sometimes hours) of their attention on episodes that add value to them. In an age when e-mails are deleted, blog posts are skimmed and even videos are scrolled by, it seemed to me there was an incredible opportunity to share value within the long-form conversation offered by a podcast.
2) Most of the information I needed to get started came from a podcast about podcasting
Prior to my career at RE/MAX of Western Canada, I worked as a reporter for Capital News: a thrice-weekly community newspaper serving Kelowna and West Kelowna. During that time, I met several people within the Kelowna journalism circle, and one of those individuals was Tim Wohlberg. Tim has decades of experience in the radio broadcast industry, and he created a podcast called “Just the Tip: from your podcast performance coach.” I subscribed to Tim’s podcast and it provided me with incredible value as I began my podcasting journey. His podcast features dozens of short (less than five minute) episodes; each episode contains a valuable podcasting tip. I binge-listened to most of these episodes before I personally hit record. Tim has also created an in-depth list of what kind of basic equipment is needed to have a great sounding podcast: https://podcastperformancecoach.com/resources/ (this link was my bible when it came to ordering our podcast equipment for our office).
3) Sound quality matters… a lot
A weed-smoking Toastmaster rounded out my podcast education.
I should add some context…
Gary Johnston — a fellow member of the Kelowna AM Toastmasters Club and the owner of Strong Voice Media — spent several hours educating me on the importance of sound before I launched the RE/MAX of Western Canada podcast. In late 2018, Gary started his own podcast on cannabis culture in Canada. He had recently gone through the growing pains of getting his own “potcast” off the ground; he graciously saved me countless hours by sharing some of his own experiences and things to avoid.
Gary walked me through basic editing on Adobe Audition, syndication tips, what kind of equipment is required and even how to speak into a mic properly.
4) Fiverr can get you a professional intro, outro and even a commercial for a relatively low cost
I’ve used fiverr.com a few times, for personal projects. For example: I once paid a man who can speak in a voice like Yoda’s to explain to my girlfriend we were going to Disneyland for her birthday.
There are many professional services offered on Fiverr as well, though. I sampled various users who offer podcast intros, and based on reviews, I picked Jorge Padilla. He did not disappoint. For a relatively modest budget (less than $100 CAD), he created a customized intro, outro, and 15-second commercial, which encourages listeners to check out joinremax.ca. Jorge’s gigs on Fiverr can be found here: https://www.fiverr.com/jorgepadilla
5) Remote interviews sound great with ZenCastr
One of the most valuable pieces of advice given to me by Gary Johnston was to check out https://zencastr.com/. With RE/MAX affiliates scattered throughout Western Canada, it’s not always possible to have them come by the office for an “in-studio” interview. The great thing about Zencastr: it records the interviewer and the interviewee audio tracks remotely, and gives you separate audio files from each individual participating in the conversation. When there is only one audio track combining all of the sound, there is a higher likelihood of glitches or poor audio quality.
The downside of a remote interview is you can’t control what kind of microphone your guest is using; however, as long as the host’s audio is high quality, listeners will be forgiving of guests who don’t have the same quality of microphone.
6) There are several YouTube videos dedicated to editing sound
One of the most difficult and time-consuming things about podcasting is the editing process. This will probably be the biggest stumbling block preventing people from doing podcasts on a regular basis. With that in mind, if you have no desire to edit audio and you have the ability to contract that work out, you may want to. But, if you want to take this task on yourself, I’d strongly suggest spending some time researching this before you jump in the deep end. (Hint: Search something like “how to edit a podcast” in YouTube.)
The RE/MAX Hustle Podcast is edited on Adobe Audition and there is a podcast template, which gives you four areas to add audio. I use these areas for the following: interviewer, interviewee, sound effects, intros/outros.
Tim Wohlberg suggests focusing on things such as noise reduction, equalizing, compressing and normalizing the audio. There will be plenty of YouTube videos, which can help walk you through each of these processes.
7) Syndicating is surprisingly easy with Anchor
I figured syndication was going to be the most difficult part about podcasting. Turns out, with https://anchor.fm/, it ended up being the easiest.
Once you have your saved audio file, Anchor allows you to drag-and-drop the audio, give it a title and brief description, add episode art and then, boom: your podcast will be on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and most other major podcast apps within seconds.
*Note: The first time you upload a podcast to Anchor, it may take a few weeks before your podcast is accepted by all of these podcast services; however, your second episode (and all future episodes) will be syndicated within minutes.
8) One podcast interview can turn into several pieces of content
There seems to be an epiphany, which has caught the attention of the marketing world over the past couple of years: one piece of content is actually multiple pieces of content.
A podcast is no exception. One audio interview could probably be turned into dozens of pieces of content. For the RE/MAX Hustle Podcast, we currently take a photo during the interview, which is used as episode art (after a quick edit in WordSwag). We also use a direct quote from the interviewee and then use WordSwag to create a Facebook/Instagram story-sized image. But the sky’s the limit on what you could do with your podcast: you could record the interview with video, you could set up a phone and do a Facebook Live video, you could break down those video clips into story-sized content, you could transcribe the whole interview and use it as content for your website blog, etc.
9) People are willing to review and rate your podcast
The outro on The RE/MAX Hustle Podcast encourages listeners to give our podcast a rating and write a review if they enjoy what they’re listening to. Although the number of people who leave podcast reviews is pretty low (for example: the Joe Rogan Experience has millions of listeners but only 16,000 all-time ratings), people will support the podcasts that add value to them. In my opinion, it’s important to ask your listeners to leave a rating or review; however, it’s also important not to ask them too often.
For The RE/MAX Hustle Podcast, I did a Mid-Year Review episode, which focused on highlights from the first six months of interviews. At the end of that podcast, I challenged listeners to leave us a rating and a review, with the incentive of two RE/MAX swag prizes. Our total number of ratings went from 5 to 20 and we received several positive review comments as well. I don’t plan to do this often at all, but it’s nice to get a bit of a bump in the ratings category.
I’ve learned a lot in the last year. The above nine tips only scratch the surface; therefore, if you have any questions, let me know, and I’ll try to help you find the answer.
**Note: This article was first published on my LinkedIn account. I'm choosing to post it here as well to share these tips with the Steemit community.