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What it Takes to Start a Podcast

Starting a Podcast From Scratch

Great podcasts make it look easy — too easy, really. When you listen, it sounds like a few smart people having a great time. And so it’s easy to think that, hey, we could do that! Yes, you could. But it’s probably not as easy for them as it sounds, and it definitely won’t be easy for you. The truth is that podcasting is an advanced form of content — it requires mastery of a longer list of things than writing a good article.

In this episode of Expert Marketing Matters, Mark, Chris, and Lauren share what they’ve learned about starting a new podcast from scratch. There are things they’d have done very differently knowing what they know now, and they’ve put together a list of them to share with you. From naming your podcast, to thinking through how its format will best enable you to share your expertise, to the finer points of promoting your podcast, there’s a lot to learn…

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode Transcript

Chris Butler: Welcome to Expert Marketing Matters. I’m Chris Butler.

Lauren McGaha: I’m Lauren McGaha.

Mark O’Brien: And I’m Mark O’Brien.

Mark O’Brien: And today I am interviewing Lauren and Chris about all things podcast. Or all things about the beginning of a podcast, how we get one started, how we deal with the creation of a podcast, and then how we launch a podcast.

Mark O’Brien: We’ve covered podcast topics before and we’re not going to cover any of the things we’ve previously covered. If you’re interested in those things, go back to those episodes. But this is really about details of branding around a podcast, and then, as Chris puts it, the SEO of podcasting, which is really an interesting idea. We’ll get into that shortly.

Mark O’Brien: Let’s start with both of you, the planning side. Where do you start? If you want to get into podcasting … Well, I guess one question could be: Should you get into podcasting, and when? Then if the answer’s, “Yes, you should,” and, “Now,” how do you go about doing that?

Lauren McGaha: When we look at the question of ‘should you get into podcasting?’ I think a lot of firms are really intrigued by this idea, because the method by which they can share their knowledge feels a lot easier in a podcast format. They can talk about it. They can present it. They can have their personality, and it’s a lot less daunting. They’re envisioning themselves … Okay, the podcast stuff is already created. The brand is there, the purpose of the podcast has been figured out. It’s been launched. We have this great following, and all we got to do is sit down at a microphone and start talking.

Mark O’Brien: You’re saying they shortcut to that thing, skip over all that stuff and just envision what it’s going to be like once it’s all set up?

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. When they start thinking about, “Oh, I’m going to do a podcast,” that’s where they put themselves in their mind’s eye. The podcast is created, and all I need to do is sit down in front of a microphone and try and be brilliant. I’m way better at that than sitting down and trying to be brilliant by writing a bunch of words down on a page.

Chris Butler: Right. When it’s done well it sounds fun, it sounds easy. Right?

Mark O’Brien: It does, yeah.

Chris Butler: As you’ve pointed out, we’ve talked a lot about the setup, the technical side of how hard it is to launch this, but when the right people are sitting in a room, they have good chemistry together, they like one another, and they respect each other intellectually, then the conversation can just be effervescent. Then it sounds awesome. Who would listen to that and say, “Well, that’s not for me?”

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: Of course they’re going to want to do that. What you don’t see is that we’re all sitting here scowling with piles of notes around us. It’s not as easy as it sounds. So I think Lauren’s absolutely right, that there needs to be a rigor underneath it all that gets you to that point so that it can become easy later on.

Mark O’Brien: That makes sense for this and many other things.

Mark O’Brien: With planning, when you start to consider a podcast and you don’t skip forward to everything being perfect and wonderful, where do you start?

Lauren McGaha: You start with the position of the podcast. You have to think about what is the purpose of this podcast and how does the purpose of the podcast fit within the greater context of the positioning of my firm?

Lauren McGaha: That can look a lot of different ways because when you’re thinking about the positioning for your firm and your overall marketing strategy, you’ve got various different target markets that you’re trying to nurture and there are different strategies that are appropriate for those different target audiences. The podcast is going to be a slice of that. The first place you have to think about is, okay, within the greater context of the positioning of my firm, what’s the purpose of this podcast and who is it best suited to target? It’s not going to be everybody that your entire digital marketing strategy is intended to target.

Chris Butler: Yeah, I think that’s a huge point. Lauren and I both have had conversations with clients about exactly this, which is that it’s easy to look at a podcast and say, “Well, it should basically represent the same strategic purpose and way of working as all of our other content.” In some cases, a lot of people are saying, “Well, it’s kind of the flagship piece. It’s the thing we’re the most excited about. It should represent everything.” But actually, especially for many of our clients who are selling a professional service, the chances of long-term listenership around a podcast framed purely on the basis of getting people to understand the value of a professional service, it’s not going to happen.

Chris Butler: You probably, if you’re looking for that, if you’re looking for a long-term strategy, you probably need to think of this as purely researcher oriented content where you can constantly zoom in and out. Zoom out on the bigger picture themes that resonate with your market. Zoom in on the details that help people understand how something gets done, and know that maybe the person listening is going to listen for three years before they can influence the decision. That’s a great role for a podcast.

Lauren McGaha: Exactly. I think the thing to consider with this channel is that you’re entering this weird area between entertainment and education. That’s a cool thing about podcasting. Many times you’re getting into the day part that other marketing initiatives don’t touch. People are listening to podcasting when they’re on their commute or when they’re walking the dog, or they’re mowing the lawn, or whatever. They’re looking to be entertained in a lot of those instances, not necessarily sold to. When you’re thinking about who you’re targeting and what to talk about on your podcast, you’ve got to set aside your overall marketing objectives and really think about what’s going to be useful information, entertaining, educational to the listenership.

Chris Butler: Yeah, that’s such a huge point.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. That gets back to one of the initial questions as well, ‘should you have a podcast?’ This idea that you mentioned Chris, a lot of firms thinking of it as the flagship element of the whole strategy, probably not. It’s not going to be that. The idea that it’s going to be easy, probably not. It’s not going to be that. The idea could be a massive distraction from all of the other things you really have to be doing. Yeah, that’s a real risk, because since is not easy, it takes a ton of time and energy, and looking at a lot of professional service firms, when you’re writing content, you’re operating in the modes and environments you’re used to operating in. When you’re recording a podcast, you’re not. Now, there are some firms who sell audio services, so for those firms it’s not true, but for most professional service firms, they’re in a strange place that they’re not used to. We’ve gone through that. We’ve looked at so many things with the idea of like microphone placement.

Chris Butler: Well, let me give you one other reason why it should probably not be anyone’s flagship content marketing method, at least not when they first adopt it, and that’s measurability. It’s just way less measurable than-

Mark O’Brien: Trackable.

Chris Butler: … anything you’ll write and put on your website, or any piece of media that you’ll put on another platform in the written form, or maybe even a video. The fact is that the analytical component of podcasting is getting better, but it’s night and day. You and I were dabbling in some analytics the other day to a prospect and looking at what you can know about a prospect who engages with your written content on your site. You compare that with what you can know about a potential listener to your podcast, and it’s basically, well, you can know they exist or you can know their name and the street they live on. It’s a completely …

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, I guess it would … When you look at the continuum of trackability and measurability, you’ve got a very far, broad, somewhat useless end podcast tracking. Then you have Google Analytics. Then you have the types of things we talk about, which is the high detail tracking. Podcasting is many steps removed, even from the general and the dedicatedly general information getting Google Analytics.

Chris Butler: I think for a good while, it’s probably going to remain that way. In regard to what you can know about the listener. What you can know about how the media’s being consumed is growing. I can tell you on average when people start and stop an episode or something like that. That’s interesting, but I think if you’re going to adopt a podcast and run it for a year, for instance, it should never be that purely on measurability alone. If you get to the point, at some point in, where you’re podcast has blown up to the point where you have thousands of reviews, and you’re getting thousands of downloads per episode, and your phone is ringing off the hook, then who cares about measurability? We know people for whom this is true.

Mark O’Brien: Yes.

Chris Butler: But, those people have decades beneath them of visibility in the marketplace before they ever launched a podcast. That’s my skepticism on that.

Mark O’Brien: Well, and a think to mention there specifically, you’re talking about, at least in part, the 2Bobs podcast and-

Chris Butler: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:07:53].

Mark O’Brien: They specifically talk about the amazing things that has done for both of their businesses, which is true. I think this happens all the time. We talk about this all the time. People see the stars and they want to emulate the stars. In this realm, in professional services, 2Bobs, they’re … that podcast is among the stars.

Chris Butler: Yes.

Mark O’Brien: Again, when Lauren, as you were mentioning, when people envision themselves podcasting, they envision themselves doing it at that level, having that level of notoriety and access. That’s not going to happen. It could, but it’s a real shot in the dark.

Mark O’Brien: So, when we talk about ‘should you podcast?’ When we look at the overall content strategy approach that a firm might consider, all these things take effort. Where does this show up? What priority is it? When does it happen, ideally?

Lauren McGaha: I think podcasting can work if you have a diverse enough team that you’re not abandoning other traditional content marketing efforts as you’re getting started with things. I don’t want to discourage listeners from pursuing podcasting necessarily at the beginning of their digital marketing strategy. It can work if you have other people who are investing in things like blogging and data content and getting the site in order. If you’ve got a diverse enough team that you can distribute that load I think then podcasting is perfectly appropriate to get into in the earlier stages of your digital marketing maturity. If that’s not the case, if you’re looking at your marketing team and seeing that you need to be at the helm of all of the digital marketing initiatives that are being put in place, I don’t see podcasting having a place until you’ve got at least a year or so under your belt of really solid content marketing and more traditional forms.

Chris Butler: Can’t disagree with that. I think the other element of it has to do with who’s contributing to the overall content marketing generally? Back to your referencing the 2Bobs. I think a few episodes ago they were discussing what role content marketing has if the principle visionary is in a group, whether they’re the owners or the principles or not. The people who have the greatest vision and can communicate it, if they’re not participating in it, then it’s for naught. Those are the people that need to be doing it, and so if those people will never write, then yeah, maybe podcasting is what needs to happen.

Chris Butler: I agree with Lauren that you have to demonstrate an ability to do this consistently, I honestly think it’s easier to consistently blog for a year than it is to consistently and effectively podcast.

Lauren McGaha: Well, I think that’s true for you.

Chris Butler: I wasn’t thinking of myself, actually. I’m just trying to think about it objectively over our clientele, what’s easier.

Mark O’Brien: A few [crosstalk 00:10:26]-

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, I do think that for a lot of our clients who feel adverse to writing or feel that that’s just not their natural form of communication. Once they get over the hump of establishing the podcast, they’ve got a rhythm, they’ve got all the tech set up, they’ve got the format, and they’re at that place that they envision themselves where they can sit down at the microphone and start recording, that format works really well for a lot of firms who … those principles just feel like they can’t write regularly, they can’t find-

Chris Butler: The conversational format.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, exactly.

Lauren McGaha: I do think it can work as long as you’ve got other people inside of your firm holding down the more classic content marketing initiatives. There’s a lot to be considered in creating that podcast in the first place. I think that’s the other consideration here. If you to trying to shortcut your content marketing efforts by getting involved in podcasting, that’s not really going to work because there’s going to be at least a few months of setup and planning around getting this thing created in the first place.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, just to put a bow on that first stage, we are big fans of podcasting, we definitely believe in it, and it can have great benefits. It should not be, really think also of what your desire is, won’t be the crowned jewel of your content marketing suite probably any time soon. But, it’s a worthwhile component of it. I think that’s the summary statement on that. Do we agree with that?

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Okay, so now the planning, the naming, the positioning, the identifying the audience, the tech, all that stuff. How do we deal with that?

Lauren McGaha: First as I mentioned, the first thing to think about is who specifically you’re targeting with your podcast and how that fits in the greater context of who you’re targeting with your overall marketing strategy. Often, it’s going to be a subset of the people that you’re targeting with your overall marketing strategy, because the podcast can be more narrowly focused, and should be. It provides a container for the conversations that you’re going to be having. It allows those conversations to be more potent, and allows them, in a lot of ways, to be more specific and entertaining. I think that’s really important for this channel. Looking at who it is that you want to be nurturing, and are they likely to be listening to podcasts? Is this the right channel for the people that you want to be attracting through your digital marketing? Because not all of your audiences are going to be inclined to subscribe to podcasts and listen to them regularly.

Chris Butler: Yeah, I think that’s true. Podcasts are definitely more popular now than they have been, but just the other day I asked about six people at the same time in our firm, “How many of you listen to podcasts at all?” All of them raised their hand. “How many of you listen to them as a means of enriching your professional experience?” Half, right there. That’s a 50% cut. I think, Lauren, you’ve pointed out a couple of times already that there is this interesting infotainment synthesis of podcasting that isn’t quite true for blogging, although one could say that it’s, as we were talking about earlier, it’s noisier now. I think that has to play a role in when you think about what’s the name and who’s going to listen and who’s at the table and who’s voices are being heard. You have to think about it being a little bit more attractive from a -tainment side than just the info side.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. There’s a brand to your podcast, and it needs to exist inside of the bigger brand of your firm. You can’t really build that brand, you can’t name this thing, you can’t decide on a format, you can’t choose music, you can’t record the bumper in the middle, you can’t do any of those things without a clear vision of what’s the purpose of this thing, who am I targeting, and how does that fit into the greater scheme of my overall marketing strategy? That needs to be documented, that needs to be decided upon and documented, and everybody needs to have consensus before you even order your first piece of equipment.

Chris Butler: Yeah, totally agree.

Chris Butler: You had some really interesting points recently when you and I were meeting with a client about the name, because that client had come up with a series of possible names. Most of them were pretty literal. Almost like a positioning statement, like, “This podcast is about blank or this person.” We had a interesting discussion about that, because the question became, “Why does the name need to be that?” They were under the impression that if you don’t put those words in the name, no one will ever find it, which I think is not true.

Chris Butler: Maybe you could share a little bit about, how would you urge a client to think differently about the name alone? If they came to you with a bunch of really literal titles.

Lauren McGaha: The name is an opportunity to capture somebody’s attention when they’re scrolling through … One of the things to think about is how people are going to encounter your podcast in the first place inside of these different publication platforms. I think it’s fine for the name to actually be a little less literal and be more entertainment focused. There are other areas aside from the name that you can use to be more informative about what this podcast is going to be about. You have descriptive language that you’re going to be submitting to the podcast publication platforms to describe what the podcast is about. There are certain tagging elements that you’re going to be choosing on these different platforms to say, “Okay, this is a podcast about marketing,” or, “It’s a podcast about advertising,” or whatever it’s going to be. That’s informing those particular channels that when someone’s going in and searching for podcasts related to their interest, it’s going to serve up podcasts that are relevant to those topics.

Chris Butler: Like your last podcast was called Consider This. Nowhere in the title was ‘content marketing,’ but you had a subtitle or a tag line that you would say every time that was in the logo or that was in your outbound communication about it. Then of course when you tagged it, categorically, that I think you can go about three levels deep in iTunes, you’re saying, “Well, this is a business podcast but content about marketing.”

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, and you also want it to be something that is easy to say, that rolls off the tongue, and that can fit inside of a very small little logo on site of these different platforms.

Speaker 2: You’re listening to Expert Marketing Matters. A podcast about generating ideal new business opportunities by creating and nurturing digital marketing systems and habits that have a measurable impact on your bottom line.

Speaker 2: This podcast is brought to you by Newfangled, a digital marketing consultancy focused on empowering experts to do better digital marketing.

Speaker 2: You can learn more about Newfangled’s digital marketing method at

Mark O’Brien: I think that’s a good segue into the launch portion. Chris, this is something you’ve learned a ton about in the past six months and so, once they understand, yes, they want to do a podcast, and they’ve got the branding and the tech in place, and got the foundation there, and they have a few in the can, what then?

Chris Butler: Okay. Well, it’s kind of blurred a little bit I think with some of this planning stuff, because that metadata thing that we were just talking about is interesting. I’m unaware, at this point, how many people search iTunes for podcasts like they would search Google for an answer for something. I’m not sure that’s happening. I think people might be browsing topically. I think what’s much more potent is when you find a podcast that’s related to one you were already interested in. That’s going to have to do with metadata. But what it really has to do with is listenership. When you see a podcast in iTunes and you see a bunch of podcasts beneath it, those are there because the same people who downloaded the one you’re looking at downloaded that. That’s really the governing force.

Chris Butler: A lot of this has to do with what kind of outbound activity you might to do gain listenership, particularly what Lauren’s talking about, building this documented governance and rigor behind the scenes, because what I’m going to urge you to do is actually probably release three to five episodes on day one. We did the traditional Newfangled quick start thing, which is we just started and let it be rough and messy, and we urged people to do the same thing. We said, “Look, if you don’t start and let it be messy, you’ll never start.” You know what, 50% of my mind still agrees with that.

Chris Butler: The way that iTunes works is that they’ve got all of these different things that tell people what they should listen to. There’s ‘new in this category’ or ‘trending podcasts’ or ‘hot podcasts’ and there are two things that govern that. Download numbers and reviews. That’s it. Subscribership is not a stat that really even exists, because number one, you can download an episode of a podcast and listen to it without ever subscribing. Subscribership is basically just bookmarking an RSS feed in another app. If you use Google or Stitcher, or whatever it is, all you’re really doing is using a browser, that’s what that app is, and then bookmarking that RSS feed. That’s what subscribing means. Downloading is the only thing that’s relevant to all these analytic tools.

Chris Butler: In order to be visible at the top, right, within your category, you have to get a lot of downloads within the first week. The best way to do that is to have multiple episodes that can be downloaded. If you have one episode, if you reach 1,000 people and 1,000 people download it, you’ll get 1,000 downloads. If you have five episodes, you’re going to get somewhere between 1- and 5,000 downloads. Simple math.

Chris Butler: The second thing you have to do is you have to is you have to literally go to everyone that you can possibly reach directly, and tell them that this is coming out on this day. There’s going to be X number of episodes, it would really benefit me, this is a favor I’m asking you to do, to download as many as you can, and try and rate it and review it in the first week. It has to be a personal campaign.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, friends and family are totally in play here.

Chris Butler: Right, yeah. It’s never going to work if it’s not a personal campaign.

Chris Butler: The other reason that it has to work this way is with many other social networks, you can pay for followers and things like that, it can’t be done in iTunes. In order to rate and review a podcast, you have to be signed in in your personal account. I can’t rate and review my own podcast. I can’t rate and review a friend’s podcast more than once. One time. The correct strategy would be to have recorded and produced and gotten ready to ship multiple episodes prior to launch, have those all ready to go. Do it a specific outbound and possible social campaign, and any other way that you can let people know, give them a timeline. Tell them exactly what to do. And tell them why. Don’t just say, “Hey, I’ve got a new podcast. You should listen to it. Download as much as you can.” Tell them exactly why. Say, “By doing this, you will help me be visible.”

Chris Butler: Because I will tell you one thing, our podcast, the one you’re listening to right now, is listed under marketing podcasts, it’s in that category. It’s in the business category. If you go to those categories in iTunes, you will never see our podcast. You won’t see it. We’ve got lots and lots of people downloading these episodes, but we never got into that grid because we didn’t launch right.

Mark O’Brien: Launch. Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: What’s really interesting about that is that’s the opposite perspective you need to have when it comes to email marketing, content marketing. It’s so counter-intuitive.

Chris Butler: Right. It’s entirely social in its nature.

Mark O’Brien: Right, and the idea of just volume and splash and no warmup, no nurturing, none of that. Just open as hard as you can.

Chris Butler: You have to open hard in order … If you want that discovery thing to happen somewhat quickly. Now, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t do that, it’s just going to be a failure forever more. It just means it’s a longer road. I’ll use myself as an example. I launched a podcast last August and I didn’t do that. Between August and December, I had consistent downloads throughout all that. I think it was the first eight episodes, but nothing like what I’m seeing now. Now I’m getting over 1,000 downloads per episode. But, that required a certain sort of compounding of interest and a lot of legwork on the side of … the other side of the promotion.

Chris Butler: I haven’t done any paid ads for this one, because I just wanted to try not to, but I think that’s a viable way, but you have to get it out there and let people know it exists, that means a networking with other podcasters, being on their shows, finding a way to share and deal. I actually made an agreement with another podcaster that rebroadcast one of my episodes and wrap it in their episode, which is a very common way of getting it out there. You have to that legwork to let people know that it exists, because if you record it, they will not listen. That doesn’t happen.

Mark O’Brien: Right, yeah yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, and again, that’s the opposite, I think this is another one of the reasons why the podcast should not be the flagship element of your content strategy, because that’s a lot of work. Everything you just mentioned’s a whole lot of work. It’s a huge amount of work. On the content side, Google is your friend and Google will do all that work for you, and on the podcast side, there is no Google.

Chris Butler: That couldn’t be said better. Yeah.

Chris Butler: I do want to go back to something that Lauren was talking about though, because I think it bares a little bit of unpacking, and I know we’re going long, but I think it’s important to this conversation. It’s the format. We breezed over that and I want to go back to that really quick, because you could listen to this podcast and say, “Well, it’s essentially format-less,” right? It’s just a conversation. That’s not entirely true. But I think there are other things to think about with format that I think you’ve helped clients think through and I’d love for you to just talk about briefly before we wrap up.

Lauren McGaha: Sure. We regard to format, I think the first thing you need to think about is the length of each episode and how that is going to play inside of your audiences. I typically recommend to most of the firms that we’re advising that they try not to extend beyond 20 minutes or so per episode. I think that’s a good place to start.

Lauren McGaha: When you’re listening to our podcast, I describe this format as a round table discussion. For our clients, I think a round table discussion works well if you’ve got at least three people at the table, because what they’re often trying to do is break into a different channel that’s going to require less prep, less planning, and be more spontaneous and improvisational in its nature. Having three people at the table really helps with that.

Lauren McGaha: When you’ve got two people at the table, it’s really more of a facilitated interview kind of style. It does take more planning. It does take a little bit more thought into how that episode’s going to unfold. I know this because we have a couple of these different styles on this podcast. The three of us sit down and talk, and then there’s a different kind of episode that we do where Holly and I sit down, and typically one of us is taking the lead on a topic.

Chris Butler: And then a straight interview when you run it, Mark.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, and so it’s just a different approach. It really depends on, one: What kind of experience the firm is looking to have internally at producing this thing. And two: What they think will best serve their audiences.

Lauren McGaha: Another question that I get a lot is: Should we be bringing on outside guests to our podcast or should we keep this completely insular. Again, I think it comes down to how much time and planning and prep you really are willing to put into this. Mark, you do a lot of outside interviews for this podcast, and that takes a little bit more coordination, a little bit more logistical management.

Mark O’Brien: Honestly, a little bit, but not that much. From my perspective, we might not want to underestimate it, but my experience is that roughly, the amount of planning that we put in, the three of us for these kinds of episodes, it’s pretty similar to the other.

Mark O’Brien: Now, if you had to track down interviewees and you didn’t know them personally and you had to basically win their favor, that would take a lot more work. But when you’re interviewing people you’re already close with because they’re current clients or in your circle, whatever it might be, it can be a little more free flowing.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, for you, you’re pulling on your existing network. Which is great for you, but most of the clients that we’re talking to aren’t necessarily talking about pulling from an existing network or relevant industry contacts or peers. They’re talking about going out and hunting down the people that would be most-

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, that would be a lot of work. Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: … interesting and relevant to their listenership.

Chris Butler: Especially if you stake your entire format on the interview. I personally know two podcasters whose podcasts are interview podcasts. They experience an enormous amount of stress, very similar to sales pipeline stress of making sure that they have someone to interview, because that’s their whole podcast. They don’t have a podcast without an interviewee.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, and I have to say, based on our experience, again, the mix is really nice. The fact that yeah, I don’t need to go hunt down 24 people to interview every year. But, there’s a decent amount of that, and we’ve got time for the three of us to talk, and I think on the listener’s side, it’s probably interesting too to have the format change up a little bit.

Lauren McGaha: For me it comes back to how mature you are with your marketing. If you are just getting into this, lowest barrier of entry to do this well, retain as much control as possible. I tend to advise, stay away from interviews as you’re first launching your podcast. That’s just too much complexity too soon. Graduate to that eventually, but don’t start there.

Chris Butler: Yeah, I think that’s good advice. In particular, I think, to your point about the maturity of the surrounding marketing, if you have a stable base of writing, it’s happening on your website, potentially elsewhere if you’re doing networking, attending events, creating other types of media, you can afford to experiment and take risks with the podcast. For us, it was a risk, it could have … If it failed, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal because we have a very stable foundation on which we built this. If you’re trying to build this and nail it alongside of starting from scratch with blogging and nail that and starting from scratch regarding white papers and nail that. That’s a lot of pressure, I would agree with Lauren that if you can govern the most risky component of it, which I do think is this media, with boxing it in very carefully, that’s what I would do, for sure.

Lauren McGaha: That’s also why I tend to recommend staying away from highly produced podcasts at the outset, because again, it’s just … it’s simplicity and it’s-

Chris Butler: It’s a lot of work.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: It’s hard enough to get it to sound fine. The reason I wanted to return to this is because if you go back to that thing I was talking about where you launch very carefully with a specific amount of episodes ready to be downloaded, and you’re telling people to download them all, it’s going to be hard for someone to stomach downloading five hour-long episodes that are all interviews. I think that’s not very attractive. It’s a completely unproven thing for them. But if it’s five 20-minute episodes that are topically driven in the title, and maybe there are some interviews in them, but maybe there’re not, that’s going to be much more likely and a whole lot easier to build a very consistent outbound message around.

Chris Butler: Because again, you need to email them or reach out to that network and say, “This is what I’m trying to achieve here.” If it’s just a bunch of luminary names where there isn’t much point of view-

Mark O’Brien: Or not.

Chris Butler: Or not, then who’s going to download all of those? You’re asking them to take on a burden.

Mark O’Brien: Right, absolutely.

Mark O’Brien: One last note on tech, because we’ve mentioned tech a few times, and we do cover that in detail on a previous podcast, but in case you haven’t listened to that one, the tech stuff, actually, what we’ve ended up with is incredibly simple. We’ve got Shure SM7B microphones. They’re wonderful. I think they’re about 400 bucks a piece, so it’s a bit of an investment, but they’re fantastic and really simple microphones. There’re no settings on them. There’s nothing really to change. There’s no knobs to turn. It’s much more simple than the Blue mics that we were always fussing with.

Mark O’Brien: Then we go into Sound Devices’ MixPre-six. That device, I have to say, from my personal experience, now I do everything with this microphone and that mixer, basically, and the preamp. That’s also a recording unit. It’s one small unit that does all things. It’s powered by your laptop if you want it to be. You can take it with you. I use it for all my phone calls now, for all of our web meetings. We get a lot of value out of this equipment beyond just the podcast.

Mark O’Brien: That’s it. It’s the mic and that one small little unit that you could fit in most purses. Then we of course use Marcus dePaula to do all of our editing and publishing, basically. He does an extraordinary job of that, and really just makes the whole thing quite simple. Which is great. We’ve tried so many different approaches that have taken different amounts of time.

Chris Butler: He also provides nice advice around titling of episodes-

Mark O’Brien: He really does. Yeah.

Chris Butler: … and what’s a great synopsis for it. Or even comments about helping your performance. He’s kind of like a Jack of all trades when it comes to … Well, he’s a Producer with a capital P. I think he’s good at it.

Mark O’Brien: And he’s a podcast expert.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Jack of all trades, but as it relates to audio.

Chris Butler: Podcasts, yeah. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, really good.

Chris Butler: He’s doing great and I think it’s really helped us with the labor of this, because honestly, for the first couple of years, I think we expended way too much energy on the housekeeping side of it.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, you spend tons of time, because that was the only option we had. So yeah, he makes it very, very simple. That’s all to say on the tech, and I think this is a good episode. We covered a lot of ground here.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Anything else you want to say in closing?

Lauren McGaha: No, it’s-

Chris Butler: If you have questions, reach out. You can reach any of us our names @newfangled.

Lauren McGaha: Or podcast@.

Chris Butler: Yeah. Podcast@. But also, we never say this, but if you have been listening to this show, let people know and give us a rating or review that would actually be really useful. We do want this thing to spread because we do believe that these conversations are useful to the people in our audience and the audience that doesn’t know about us yet. So help us out with that, that would be much appreciated.

Lauren McGaha: Thanks for listening.

Mark O’Brien: Thank you.

Chris Butler: All right guys, bye.