Upside podcastOct 18, 2018
with Jay Clouse
eCamm Call Recorder
What did the first version of this podcast look like?
The first version of the show didn't look much different than it looks today! We've changed the amount of time we spend in certain segments, we've certainly improved our questions as interviewers, but structurally it's about the same. It wasn't until recently that we began rolling out a second sort of episode type, which we call Coffee Chats, that talk to Venture Capitalists and community builders. These are more traditional interviews intended to deepen our insight as we play the role of "investor" in our regular episodes.
How did you learn about what Tools to use to produce the show?
As with anything else I want to learn, I go straight to people who have likely already encountered the problem and solved it. So for me, it was talking with other podcasters about their tools and processes to simplify my decision-making between tools. Sometimes it wasn't even direct conversation so much as finding what other tools people I admired were using (like hosting with Transistor). I wouldn't say I exclusively ask others for advice, but it's definitely my primary method which I augment with my own research.
(list some tools/tech you use)
- Hosting: Transistor
- Website: Wordpress
- Transcripts: Temi / Upwork
- Editing: Upwork / GarageBand
- Recording: eCamm Call Recorder
- Microphone: Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- File sharing: Dropbox
- Document collaboration: Google Docs
- Communication: Slack
What makes a podcast great?
Honestly, I think a podcast needs to be uniquely
1.) entertaining and/or
So, everything you do needs to be viewed through that lens -- is this entertaining or educational? Is it more entertaining and educational than something else out there? If not, it won't be listened to. So find a niche, or be better than the big boys already doing it.
Second, a podcast is a great way to feel like you have a relationship with both the host(s) and the guest(s). I spend more time with the hosts of podcasts I listen to consistently than I do with my best friends -- how wild is that? So don't underestimate the importance of being personable and genuine. It may not make or break your podcast if you're uniquely entertaining or educational already, but it's only going to give you a much better chance.
How did you get listeners?
We started early on creating both a website and Twitter to begin generating some level of hype about the show. We engaged with folks we thought would be a good listener through Twitter, we had an opt in on the website, and that at least gave us someone to start with.
Additionally, we went out with three episodes. So between Eric and I and the guests on those episodes, we had an excuse to start sharing them socially. Not only that, but we shared them during Columbus Startup Week (a weeklong series of events filled with our demographic) and I printed shirts and was a walking billboard and promoter all week.
It's not sexy to start getting listeners -- you have to go one by one to people who are going to think you are 1.) entertaining or 2.) educational.
What does the next 12 months look like for the show?
We are getting a lot better on the audio production side of things, and we're beginning to roll out episodes with better audio. In one way or another, we want every episode to be a small improvement over the last. An easy way to do that is production value. There's also better editing, and there's better content. So, in the next 12 months, we're focused on that goal above all else.
We will be rolling out our Coffee Chats series a little more regularly. This way we keep our Wednesday cadence of interviews with founders while also putting out this different episode type. It may appeal to a different audience -- we're excited to find out -- but by increasing the amount of content we're putting out, we hope to increase the speed of adoption (more content = more opportunity for listeners to share that episode with someone else). But, obviously there's a fine line to walk there.
Last thing -- we've found PR to be a great marketing strategy for us. So, we hope to continue to carve out a space of novelty that's worth being newsworthy.