Kri Edholm, Owner of Leadership Excursion Co., launched the Leadership Looks Like Podcast in June 2017. In a recent live recording, Kri invited guests to listen in on an episode and shared the podcast equipment and workflow that she uses to produce the show.
Podcasting 101: Where to begin
Before we start getting into the details of podcasting, we want to make it very clear that starting your own podcast can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. It can be free or it can cost thousands of dollars. Rather than getting caught up in the overwhelming story that you create in your mind about cost and technology, start thinking about the theme of your podcast and simply start recording.
Step 1: Pull up your favorite podcast (that isn’t backed by a professional media company with an unlimited budget) and listen to the very first episode. Chances are the first episode looks and sound nothing like the latest episode.
Pay attention to sound quality, show outline, interview style, storytelling ability, music, graphics, etc.
The very first episode doesn’t compare to the latest because whoever is working on the podcast has practiced and improved over time.
Take a look at the Jocko Podcast as an example. Here’s the very first episode compared to the latest episode (at the time of this writing) and notice the difference. It’s like night and day and the best news is that it will only continue to get better!
In comparing Jocko’s first podcast with his most recent, the three most noticeable improvements are sound quality, show flow, and he moved from using a still graphic to now incorporating video.
This didn’t happen overnight. These improvements took place over time because the Jocko team incorporated lessons learned and small enhancements along the way.
The most important thing that Jocko did was to focus on his content, create a consistent recording and release schedule, and he stuck to it.
He simply took action and this is what you should do, too. Start recording with the understanding that it won’t be perfect and that you can and will do better as you learn and grow.
Podcasting is Free
Speaking about a topic that you’re passionate about, recording it on the phone you already own, and posting episodes on iTunes are free.
Use the recording app that comes pre-installed on your phone or download an app like Anchor.
If you are on a tight budget and want to start your podcast now, dissolve the fear about technology or equipment and begin by using the phone that’s sitting in your purse or pocket.
A majority of our interviews are in-person with one guest. We like to be able to record our podcast from anywhere and with our current setup, all we need is a room with a door we can close to keep most of the surrounding sound out.
- Portable recorder
- 2 Microphones
- 2 Sets of headphones
- Rolling case for portability
Website, Software & Tools
- Calendly to schedule recording sessions with guests
- Garageband to edit (came pre-installed on my Mac)
- Blubrry to host our media. We use their PowerPress Plugin to integrate with our WordPress website and if you don’t have a website, but need one for your podcast, take a look at Blubrry’s PowerPress Sites solution.
- Art List for copyright-free music
- Canva to create image designs
- Fiverr for voice-overs, intro, and outtro recordings
- Auphonic to finalize our audio
- Buffer to schedule social media posts
Reviewing all of the information listed above can be overwhelming. It’s a lot to take in, but just like anything new, once you have your workflow set up, the ongoing management becomes commonplace.
We’ll attempt to be as detailed as possible in describing our workflow. If you’re unsure, we highly suggest utilizing customer support that is provided by each of the companies we work with (we wouldn’t use them if they didn’t have solid customer support). There’s also Google and YouTube. If you are running into an issue, chances are someone else already has and they’ve made a step-by-step video about it and published it on YouTube.
Technology is daunting and amazing all at the same time.
Keep in mind that this is the method we use. There’s a large number of different ways to record, produce, and post a podcast.
It took us some time to create an original workflow and a few months to get into a routine. Give yourself time and patience to make adjustments along the way until you find an approach that works best for you. Here’s what our workflow looks like:
- Pre-Podcast Interview: Set up an interview with your potential guest (either on the phone or in-person) and talk to them about your show. Ask them questions that are similar to what you’d ask during the show to see if you have synergy. This is important.
- Schedule your recordings so that you have plenty of time in between recording and posting. We schedule 3-4 weeks in advance so we have time and can shift if someone has to cancel their recording session for some reason. We use Calendly as our scheduling tool.
- On interview day, take time to make your guest comfortable before you start recording. We visit for a few moments and provide a complete rundown of what our guests should expect during the interview. Because it’s recorded, we reassure them that if they need to take a break, cough, mess up, whatever, that we can stop recording and edit anything out later. We also ask our guests if anything’s off limits and if something comes up during the interview that they don’t care to discuss, we honor and respect their wishes. Our podcast format is more casual in nature, so this is what works best for shining the brightest lights on our guests as possible.
- Music, intro, outtro: We sourced all of our own music using Art List, which is a website that provides copyright-free music for purchase. Although you run the risk of having music that isn’t original by purchasing from a service like this, It’s important to use music that is copyright-free to avoid infringement. We also pre-record our intro and outtro, but if you’d like those components to be in a different voice, you can hire someone to do these recordings for you. Visit Fiverr and search ‘podcast intro’ or ‘voice over’ to see affordable options.
- Our episodes are edited using Garageband and once we’re happy with the overall flow, we export the file and save it to our computer. Because we’re not sound engineers and want the final file to be as professional sounding as possible, we run everything through Auphonic to finalize. There is an extra cost associated with using this service, but it does an outstanding job of evening out audio and reducing any background noise that may be present. Once the file is finalized, we upload to Blubrry and from there, the episode is automatically posted to podcast channels like iTunes.
- After each episode is finalized and posted, the next step is to announce to the world so everyone knows that a new episode is available. We use Canva to create associated imagery and then post to all of our social media channels: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and our website.
Adding a podcast as a content option is one more opportunity for an audience to connect with you. It’s a long-form voice that is unique from what other social media channels have to offer and it’s a great opportunity for anyone to really get to know you. If you’re interested in building trust and sharing information at a deeper level with an audience, the time it takes to produce and maintain a podcast is more than worth it.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we will happily address. Full disclosure: some of the links in this write-up are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and purchase services, we’ll receive a small kick-back. These funds are used to subsidize costs associated with the show and we appreciate the support!