Cut Through the Overwhelm of Starting Your Podcast
Got a podcast idea? Amanda Roscoe Mayo, specialist in all-things podcasting, coach, and producer knows how to get you started! In this week’s episode, tune in to hear how this broadcast journalist and author grows her client’s ideas from fuzzy concepts in their heads into polished, published podcasts out there in the real world.
Truth be told, this chat with Amanda (pre-She Talks Business launch) is one of the reasons this podcast exists. Her generous advice on how to bring an idea to life, set yourself up to record, publish, share, and market your new podcast not only helped me get up and running, but shaped the way we work with our clients on their podcasts as well.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own podcast, trying to figure out how to be a guest on other people’s podcasts, or wondering how podcasting fits into your marketing strategy… hit play and listen in!If you’ve been thinking about starting your own #podcast, trying to figure out how to be a guest on other people’s #podcasts, or wondering how #podcasting fits into your #MarketingStrategy… hit play and listen in! Click To Tweet
What’s in This Episode
- 10 podcast best practices
- The tech behind the sound quality of your podcast made simple
- Why overwhelm is squashing your idea and how to move past it
- What recording software to use
- The steps to get your podcast off the ground
- The ONE thing you must do to market your podcast
- How to be a better interviewer
What To Do Next
- Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.
- Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
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- Sign up to be notified when I run the next Roadmap Workshop.
Where to Find Amanda Roscoe Mayo
Next week, tune in to episode 22 of She Talks Business as we launch a new season all about Money, Metrics and Measurement. Join us as we make the complicated simple and turn the microscope on to the numbers that matter when it comes to growing your business.
Books Mentioned in this Episode
CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to, She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.
Lisa Larter (00:24):
I cannot believe we are officially on episode number 21. I hope you enjoyed the conversation that I had last week with Mark Schaefer. And if you didn’t listen to the week before with Alan Weiss, you probably want to listen to that, because I think we could all use to be a little bit more fearless in life. Amanda Mayo. Amanda Mayo is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to podcasting. And I have to give her credit because I probably wouldn’t have a podcast if I hadn’t read her book and had a conversation with her about all things podcasting. Her book called Podcasting is a small, little book jam packed with exactly how to think about and implement your podcast idea. She brings a wealth of information to this conversation.
Lisa Larter (01:20):
And if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines thinking, hmm, I think I’d like to have a podcast, or, hmm, I think I’d like to be a guest on other people’s podcasts, or, hmm, I’m wondering where podcasting fits into my marketing plan, then you really should listen to this show. Amanda is… She brings her A game, and she provides tremendous value. I highly recommend listening or reading her book. I think it was honestly a game changer for me in terms of getting my podcast off the ground. She really connected a lot of the dots for me and helped me not only to look at what I needed to do to make my own podcast more effective, but how to help my clients as well. So, shout out to Amanda, and enjoy the show.
Lisa Larter (02:08):
All right. So, great timing in terms of writing this book. I am quite amazed with the number of podcasts that are out there on the marketplace right now, that there are so few books about getting started in podcasting. And you did a really good job. It’s super, super comprehensive in terms of everything that you need to think about. And if I was you, I would market the hell out of this, because you really have no competition right now, which is fantastic. So, thank you for writing the book-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (02:45):
Thank you, of course.
Lisa Larter (02:47):
And thank you for joining us. So, I have a bunch of questions for you. And we’ve got some of our Thought Readers’ participants here, who are on the webinar with us. We have others who will view in the group. And selfishly, I feel like this is an opportunity for me to pick your brain about my own podcast in a way that will help other people learn and think differently about podcasting as well. So, I have lots and lots and lots of questions for you. And I think the first thing that I would like to know is how do you help people move out of overwhelm? Because I’m going to give you the backstory, all right? So, see this… Oh, you can’t see it, because my picture’s there. So, see this? She Talks Business. Yeah, great idea for a podcast. My team had that thing made for me because I was going to start a podcast, and I think that was the goal, I don’t know, three years ago, four years ago. Still hasn’t happened.
Lisa Larter (03:53):
Then I had another idea for another podcast. And I got as far this time as recording the intro jingle, and having somebody mix it with music, and I got the artwork, and all that fun stuff. And then Sigrun, who is on here, I interviewed her, and I fell into the fatal trap of familiarity in interviewing. And when I finished the interview, I was like, “Well, that sucked. You are a terrible host.” She wasn’t bad, it was me. It was like, “you weren’t prepared. You didn’t ask great questions.”. And all of a sudden, I started feeling like, gosh, I have to do a better job at this. And so then, overwhelm sets in. Analysis paralysis sets in. Perfectionism sets in. How do you help people overcome that?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (04:39):
I think I saw in the Facebook group that you had made a note in the book about the production thing, about it can be perfect or it can be done. And that’s definitely part of it. But with my coaching business, I really break everything down so that as soon as… Because I’m one-on-one, I can really help people get past that, because I just convince them that they need to continue. But the number one thing to remember is that everything is practice. You have to do this a whole bunch of times in order to get good, especially with interviewing. The interviewing chapter in the book, that’s all original from my brain. That is not from anywhere. That is just from 10 plus years of interviewing musicians, and celebrities, and whoever.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (05:23):
But I was a terrible interviewer. And I still make snafus every once in a while. So, I think you just have to commit to doing it, and just know that you will get better with every single time. You can make notes afterwards, and you’ll hear it yourself. You’ll be like, “Oh, that was not the best way to go into that question.” But also, everyone is different that you interview. So, there will be people who will give you a ton of resistance, and there will be people who will talk your ear off for the entire 60 minutes, and you’ve only asked them one question.
Lisa Larter (05:53):
So, what I’m hearing you say is, don’t fall victim to the pressure of making it perfect out of the gate. Allow yourself the grace of practice. And do almost like a self debrief when you’re done each interview, and ask yourself what went well, what didn’t go well. I know my coach always says have a piece of paper next to you so you can take notes on things yourself as you’re thinking about them, because that will help you next time around.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (06:24):
Yes. And I try to hammer it home as much as possible in the book, but my main mantra is listen. Listen to yourself, listen to the quality, listen over and over and over and over again, and just listen for the things that you want to improve. Because there will always be something that you will find. And also, what really helps with overwhelm with what I find with my clients is hiring a producer. Because a lot of people don’t have production experience, and you can hire a producer for not a ton of money, especially if you’re just doing a conversational podcast, and they will help you. They will help you sound smart if you ask them to, and they will help you just get it done.
Lisa Larter (06:59):
Yeah. I don’t care so much about the ums and the uhs and the stumbling over things. I think that as a speaker, I can’t put the shaving cream back in the can when I’m on stage speaking, so it is what it is. I feel a little bit the same about podcasting. And Sigrun is on here, so I could even ask her to contribute. But I just felt like when I finished the podcast with her, I didn’t feel like I did a good job as a host. I felt like I could have been more thoughtful about the questions that I asked, I could have been more prepared. I think that what I did is probably the opposite of what you have done. When you interview a celebrity for the first time, there’s probably a sense of intimidation, and you may over prepare because you feel a little bit intimidated. And I think what I did with Sigrun is I allowed familiarity, the fact that I know her well, I’ve known her for years, I’ve had many conversations with her, I allowed that as a reason for not preparing as well as I could have prepared. And that is almost as detrimental as being too prepared.
Lisa Larter (08:18):
So, I read something on Facebook. I want to read it to you and get your perspective on this. Notes from the Field. This is in John Lee Dumas’ Podcaster Paradise group. It says, “I love Zencastr. Zencastr is my friend. Unfortunately, we had to break up. Zencastr to me is the best podcast recording tool hands down. The audio quality of my guests is off the chart. If they use a mic, it’s like recording face-to-face. I’ve shared before, I batch activities, I line up three to four interviews every Wednesday, and without fail, one person has to reschedule, and without fail, half of those people will not reschedule. Why? Zencastr only works in Chrome on a desktop, and the people that I am interviewing don’t worry about what browser they are using. And even though I’ve given them direction, the 30% cancellation rate is killing me. So, I asked myself a simple question. Am I in love with the software, or am I in love with the process? I broke up with Zencastr, now I’m using Zoom. Thanks to COVID-19, everyone knows Zoom. Cancellations are at zero. I didn’t know at the time how much easier Zoom would make my podcasting.” You specify in the book, don’t use Zoom.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (09:36):
I stand by that.
Lisa Larter (09:38):
Yeah, talk to me about that. Talk to me about quality versus that just getting it done, the barriers to technology. Why do you feel that way?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (09:49):
Well, I guess I would have follow-up questions for that poster based on what his podcast is about and whether or not the people who are rescheduling should even be on there to begin with. And it also works on Firefox, just for the record. It’s not just Chrome. The reason that you don’t want to use Zoom… And Zoom quality has gotten a little bit better because they got such an influx of cash mid quarantine phase. But Zencastr gives you two separate files, which Zoom does as well, but the audio quality is very low. And it also doesn’t account for any of the tech mixing that can happen. Zencastr will automatically do some of that for you. But the most important thing is that Zencastr records on something like a voice over IP, whereas Zoom is directly through the internet. So, Zencastr locks in as much as it can. It locks in the signal that you’re on, so that there’s significantly less chance of a call dropping or any kind of interference.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (10:51):
And also, when you’re recording on the separate tracks, just the way that it works if you’re interested in the technology part of it, is it is recording you, and it’s recording your guest, but it’s not recording what you’re hearing your guest say. It’s recording what your guest is actually saying. So, if we were recording… Well, you are recording this, but what you would get is my track only of what’s coming through my microphone, but not what’s coming through your headphones.
Lisa Larter (11:19):
And how is that different?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (11:21):
It’s different because it allows you to remove any background noise that would be on somebody else’s track. And also, if it sounds to you I’m breaking up, I’m not breaking up. Because it’s not recording through the… It’s not recording the internet feed, it’s recording me directly. So, in the industry world, they call that a tape sync. So, basically, if you ever hear anybody on the radio click on a phone call or something, what happens is a person like me, who’s a producer, or just an audio engineer will go to that person’s house, and we will hold a recorder in front of their face as they are talking to the person on the phone. And then that is the recording that gets mixed into the interview, not the phone one. So, it’s essentially that.
Lisa Larter (12:05):
Gotcha. Okay. And so-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (12:09):
There are other programs, though, besides Zencastr, if that person wanted to use something that was more user friendly.
Lisa Larter (12:15):
I think I’m just trying to figure out what is the easiest way to start. And if technology is a barrier to entry for a lot of people, they just won’t start. Because feeling like you need to learn how to do something different than what you already know how to do is a barrier for the person who is the host of the show, and it can be a barrier for the person who is a guest on the show. So, everyone knows how to use Zoom. So, I guess-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (12:43):
Yeah, Zencastr is the exact same. You get the same type of link, all you do is click it and join it.
Lisa Larter (12:48):
Okay. And is it a video experience like this?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (12:52):
Not right now. They’re in beta for that. But if you really wanted to have the video, which I think it’s actually better for interviews sometimes to not have it, but if you really wanted to have it, you could do like what we’re doing, but just mute the Zoom. Because it will still happen in real time. So, you can still see what somebody is saying, but have it be recording through Zencastr.
Lisa Larter (13:09):
Gotcha. Okay. Interesting. Interesting, because almost, I think, every podcast I’ve ever been on has been a Zoom or a Skype interview. And I’ve been guests on quite a few podcasts, and that’s always the technology that I have used. And so, I was really… I wrote it down, many people record with Zoom, and you say no. Why? So, I was like, why, why?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (13:37):
It’s not the end of the world, but it just… You can do all of the things right. You can use what we’re doing with the headphones, it’s not an earbud. You can set up a separate mic, and all of those things, but Zoom is still just not going to give you as good of quality as a program that’s meant to do that.
Lisa Larter (13:54):
Right. Your audio sound quality is really great. What are you using for a mic right now?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (13:59):
So, I’m using earbuds, which are Apple earbuds, but the trick with these is that the older they are, the better the sound quality.
Lisa Larter (14:07):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (14:08):
So, I don’t know why, but that is just a thing. I think because the built in mics were so new then, so they just put more quality into them. But I recently moved and I found a whole bunch of them, so now I have a stash.
Lisa Larter (14:23):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (14:23):
But you can also just use a USB mic if you want it to get really fancy.
Lisa Larter (14:28):
Yeah, I wear these babies. As you can see, it’s not plugged in right now. I’ve had it for years. Yeah, I’ve had it for years. And I find this stuff on the back, the buttons, the gain, all that, I have no idea what it means, so I just fiddle with things until they sound right. But it’s time for a new one. This has started to make staticky noise. I don’t know if there’s an issue with the actual device itself or if it’s an issue with the cable, but I think it’s time to upgrade to something nicer. I have a Rode mic which Sigrun recommended to me years ago in Florida, my home there, and I really like it. But I’m not… I’m one of those people that would go through your book, and I would pick out all the, this is the really great technology you should buy, and I would buy all that high end great technology, and then it would sit in my office and I wouldn’t use it, because I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (15:22):
Lisa Larter (15:22):
That’s not always so good. Okay, another question I wanted to ask you is you talked about creating separate social media channels for your podcast. So, you have a channel for your podcast, and you have a channel for you as an individual. Why do you recommend that people have two separate channels that way instead of just one?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (15:48):
It does depend on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to… If you are your brand, then you should stick with your own thing. But if the podcast can act as its own thing, then it’s good to have separate channels for everything, because then you’ll have the opportunity to be tagged, which tagging is gold. Basically, anything that happens on the internet, if it’s a social media thing, and it gets directed back to your website, whether that’s your podcast website, or your personal website, or even your host website, that increases your SEO. So, that just increases the ability for other people to find you when they’re searching for you. So, it’s important to have those separate channels set up so that people can find you in any way they want to find you, basically.
Lisa Larter (16:37):
So, if my podcast is named… Well, I’ll use Sigrun again, because she’s all in here, but Sigrun’s is called The Sigrun Show, and Sigrun’s website is Sigrun, so it all makes sense for Sigrun. But if my podcast was called, I don’t know, The Art of Building an Online Website, but my website is Lisa Larter, then it might make more sense for the podcast to be separate from the website. Is that what you’re saying? The podcast artwork in the name and the social channels to be separate.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (17:09):
Yeah, and it can exist on your website as a separate page or something. But if it doesn’t need to be directly tied to your name, or specifically a leg of your brand, or something, then it should have its own. One of my clients, she has a coaching blogging business. It’s called Lajoie Society, and it’s a catch all for all of the things that she does, but her podcast is called Prickly and Blooming. So, she has that as a separate page on her website. But she has a separate Instagram and Facebook for Prickly and Blooming itself.
Lisa Larter (17:43):
And I would assume that you can cross promote, because if I, Lisa Larter, am tagging my podcast, it’s just like somebody else tagging my podcast, right?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (17:50):
Yeah. And that’s, that’s exactly where it comes in. I guess we’re circling around it without realizing we’re circling around it. If you cross promote yourself, then it gives you more of a chance for people to find you. Because if they search you, then they’ll stumble upon your podcast. But if they search your podcast, then they will definitely find your podcast. So, you just want to make sure that you are findable everywhere that’s-
Lisa Larter (18:10):
Right. And so, if your podcast name, guys, is different from your name, even though in the description, it may say that your podcast is hosted by Patty Searl, but it’s called The Art of Cleaning, for example, then if people are looking for The Art of Cleaning, they will be more apt to find you and the podcast, because if they didn’t know that the podcast was Patty Searl, they might not search for that name.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (18:35):
Lisa Larter (18:35):
That make sense? Okay.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (18:37):
Yeah, most people are just going to search for the title anyway.
Lisa Larter (18:42):
Yeah, for sure. Which brings me to a question about titles. What do you recommend on titles? I would assume that they should be short, pithy, recognizable, catchy, all of those things.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (18:55):
Yes. I like to use a rule of thumb that if it can fit in the thumbnail image of the podcast, then it’s a good title. You want it to be short and punchy. It doesn’t really have to have everything to do with the podcast that you have. The tagline can do that for you. But yeah, short and to the point is best for podcast titles. And you also never ever put podcast in your podcast title.
Lisa Larter (19:18):
I know. I see people do that all the time. This podcast. This week’s podcast is… No. This episode, not this podcast. I know, makes me crazy. I see people do that too. So, I’m curious, one of the things that I have noticed is there’s a lot of repurposing happening right now with podcasting. And there’s a lot of garbage repurposing happening with podcasting right now. And there are some very big names that are repurposing. They don’t have any intro. The sound quality isn’t good. They seem to be on a random stream of thought with some other person versus an organized methodology of delivering a message through podcasting. What are your thoughts on all of that?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (20:08):
Well, the reason that that’s happening right now is because the entire entertainment industry has been shut down because of the pandemic. So, 2021 is actually going to be quite interesting, because we’re going to see a lot of really, really high level production houses that normally do TV and movies putting out podcasts. So, it’s going to be a lot of my big time producer friends in New York, that’s what they’re working on right now. But that is where that comes from, is because a lot of the… Trevor Noah, for example, he is someone who does that with his show. So, the repurposing of content, it would be better if it had an intro and outro, but for something like a new show that is just going to be a daily thing that just has to… It needs to be dumped into an audio format, basically, that’s why that’s happening. It’s because they’re trying to hit people where they want to consume their media. And a lot of people choose to consume their media through podcasts, especially now that they’re working at home.
Lisa Larter (21:03):
I guess I’m not really talking about people as famous as Trevor Noah, I’m talking more like author, coaches, those types of people in the-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (21:13):
So, they’re repurposing talks or something?
Lisa Larter (21:15):
Yeah, it’s like they’re repurposing conversations that they had just sitting down talking to somebody. Oh, we should record this and throw it on the podcast. And it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. And so, I think that there is a balance between, pardon my language, throwing shit out there versus creating something of value. And I think it’s a spectrum. You can be OCD and never release because it’s got to be so valuable and so perfect that it’s just never done, and you can be so cavalier that you throw anything and hope that something will stick. So, on a… If you look at the continuum, where should people be? Because I will tell you, I have started listening to podcasts before… I never want to out anybody and say their names, but where I’ve literally started listening, going, “You guys just sound like you’re having a beer and you’re not making any sense.” And I’m done. I don’t want to listen to this.
Lisa Larter (22:09):
And then I’ve listened to podcasts like the Malcolm Gladwell one, Revisionist History, where I am fascinated by the production skill that goes into that podcast, because it’s just… It’s like you’re on the edge of your seat listening to what’s next. And they get to the end of one episode, you can’t wait for the next episode. So, you know the level of planning and organizing that goes into that is just so much more superior than the person who’s just riffing at the bar talking to somebody and picking up their audio, right?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (22:45):
Yeah, so it’s a professionalism issue. And this is why I wrote the book and why I became a podcast coach to begin with, why I left media to do this, because it is my personal goal in life to make sure no more bad podcasts enter the world, or at least the people who work with me. So, that’s what I talk a lot about in the book, is how to completely avoid that. It is my biggest pet peeve, the best friend conversation thing is like, no one wants to hear that. You maybe have five minutes of a gem in there, but nobody wants to listen to your inside jokes, or to your casual conversation, or to whatever the hell it is you’re talking about. Nobody cares. So, I think that that is where planning definitely helps. And you don’t have to over plan. It’s as simple as… What I always say is you have to go into everything knowing what you want to know. So, why are you there? Why are you talking to that person? There’s a reason you’re talking to that person. What is it?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (23:38):
And even just clarifying that alone will already give you a 50% better interview than just going in cold. And I will say, Malcolm Gladwell, his team is six people per podcast, six producers per podcast, and a writer for each. So, you don’t have to be at that level, but just having some general idea of what you want to talk about, and an interview is different than a conversation.
Lisa Larter (24:03):
Right, exactly. I was just going to say that, what are your thoughts on interviews versus conversations? Because I look at interviews as one person is a subordinate, and the other person is an expert. And I look at conversations where you’re literally having a dialogue with somebody and you’re both sharing perspectives on a topic. And that to me is more of a peer style conversation than it is an interview. Oh, you are the big celebrity, and I am going to ask you all these questions right now, because I’m this little, inferior person. I’m not really a big fan of that.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (24:44):
Yeah. What I will say is that, this is getting a little bit nitpicky as a journalist, there is no such thing as a conversation in recorded audio. So, everyone needs to be approaching it like an interview. You can have a quip, like you and I, we’re having a dialogue. I’m answering things that you’re not even asking me. But that is still different than having a conversation, because we’re still in the interview, but I’m talking to you about things that are on my mind as well. So, it’s important to, even if you have a two person hosted podcast, and you just talk to each other, then you interview each other. You have to come with some sort of plan, or else, again, what are you doing there?
Lisa Larter (25:23):
Yes, absolutely. So, the distinction, from your perspective, is the plan. So, if I had just showed up, and I’m riffing, and I’m just pulling questions out of the air, versus having a list of questions, versus having read every page of your book, and marked it up extensively as I was reading it, then that is a different thing.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (25:45):
Yeah, well, and the difference is too, is that if you really want to go conversation style, then you need to hire an executive producer, because they will probably remove… Say you have a two hour conversation, they will probably trim that down to 20 to 30 minutes. Because that’s all your listeners really want to hear. But if you have to do it that way, and you feel like you have to have a conversation, then it has to be totally natural and dynamic and amazing, then that’s what you have to do, is you have to hire somebody who knows what they’re doing to make you sound like something somebody wants to listen to.
Lisa Larter (26:18):
So, what about how much time, in your opinion, should you waste before you get to the point? So, I will tell you, I have a love-hate relationship with Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Sometimes I love to listen to the interviews. When he talks to Seth Godin, I always get a lot of value out of it. But I find that some of his podcasts are just so long, they don’t hold my attention. And I find that sometimes, the introduction and the layer after layer after layer of ads also doesn’t hold my attention. I just want to get to the point. And then there was somebody else that I listened to. He’s the number one podcast guy, is it Josh Rogan? The Joe Rogan Experience. I listened to one of his podcasts. I’ve never listened to him before, because every time I search what’s new and notable or whatever, he shows up as being a top person. And it was painful to get through all of the promotional stuff. So, what is your take on that? Because obviously, these guys are monetizing their podcasts, which is why they’re front loading all of this stuff. But where is the balance between, you’re going to lose the listener because they can’t stand to listen to all that, versus this is something you really should put into your podcast?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (27:48):
Well, there’s a few things there. The first is that, which I talk about in the book, but the way the monetization works is that there’s a pre roll, a mid roll, and a post roll. So, most of the time, the mid roll is the one that is actually the only one that’s going to be heard. Because as you are starting to listen to your podcasts, you’re probably doing something else, waiting for it to start, you’re tuning in, tuning out in your brain, and then you finally get to the intro, and then that’s when you lock in and start paying attention. So, the mid roll, you will absolutely hear because you’re already invested in listening to the podcast. The end rolls, nobody… People usually turn it off before they get there. So, that’s where pricing comes in. It has to do with, the most expensive one is the mid roll.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (28:32):
The other part of this is that podcasting is still quite new. I don’t remember, I put it in the intro of the book, but I don’t remember when the first one was recorded onto an iPad. But anyway, it’s still pretty new and enough that the industry itself has not been standardized at all. And there is no money, actually. There’s no money coming from places like the entertainment industry would have them. So, this is a new thing. There’s a new thing where podcast production houses are starting to pop up, and there are networks that are starting to happen, and things like that. So, that’s where money comes from. On an individual basis, it’s pretty much impossible to actually make a significant amount of money off of your podcast. So, there’s those things. So, yeah-
Lisa Larter (29:17):
So, for the average Joe, you have a coaching business, I have a consulting marketing firm. For a business like yours and like mine, is it even worth it to do the ads, or should you just get to the value for the listener, and know that it’s the value that is going to attract them to your business, and that’s where the monetization really is going to occur?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (29:41):
I think that there’s a middle ground. I think that you can do advertisements for things that you believe in. I wouldn’t… I think that you can do things that are related to your business, or things that are a partnership with somebody else that you are interested in. I think that there’s definitely a way to monetize your podcast while staying authentic to what it is you’re trying to give your consumer.
Lisa Larter (30:01):
Okay, awesome. And Amazon, so they recently have set up their own podcasting distribution channel, whatever you want to call it.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (30:16):
Absolutely taking over the world.
Lisa Larter (30:18):
Yeah. It’s like, oh, gee, everybody’s hosting their podcast on Amazon S3. We should probably set up a podcast now. So, what are your thoughts on that? How many places should you distribute your podcast? And what do you predict will change as a result of Amazon getting into the game?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (30:36):
So, one of the cool things about podcasting that I think in general is that it’s the only democratic form of media that’s left. It’s completely unregulated. So, in radio, you’re regulated by the FCC, which means that you can’t say certain words or certain phrases or demoralize certain things. And not that ethics and morality shouldn’t come into play in podcasting, but it really is the last form of free speech and media. So, what is good about that, and why niche podcasting works is because the consumer is in control. So, the listener is absolutely saying where they want to listen to their podcast, and how they’re going to consume it. So, for Amazon, it’s really just going to depend on if they can actually make that switch. I don’t really even know how successful… What was the name of the thing that Jay Z did on iTunes? I’m totally forgetting the name of it now.
Lisa Larter (31:35):
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (31:37):
But how successful was that, right? How many people paid for that service when you can stream things for free elsewhere? So, Spotify is going to become the biggest in the game very soon here, so I don’t know if Amazon will be able to outpace them. But what it comes down to is where people want to consume their stuff. So, that’s why you should distribute everywhere, is because you want to hit your people anywhere they want to listen to a podcast. And it doesn’t cost you anything, doesn’t do anything. It’s just the RSS feed gets posted somewhere else.
Lisa Larter (32:05):
Right. So, your recommendation would be put your feed in as many places you can. What feeds would you prioritize on your website if you’re inviting people to listen to your podcast?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (32:16):
Apple Podcasts is still number one in the game, so I would definitely suggest that. Stitcher is still a largely consumed place. There are places that are paid so you can archive your episodes, and people have to pay $5 a month or whatever to listen to your old podcast episodes. So, that one, I’m also blanking on the name of the… Luminary, that’s one of those. So, there are things like that, but I would definitely suggest Google Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher are still the main big ones. And as you’re starting out, you’ll be able to tell in your analytics where your people are. That’s the other thing. You don’t want to waste a ton of time on social media if you don’t have any followers on Instagram, but you have 5,000 followers on Facebook. You can post it to Instagram, but if your people are on Facebook, then engage them there. So, you can start paying attention to where people are consuming your feed, and dial it back from there if you want to.
Lisa Larter (33:16):
And what about hosting? Do you have any recommendations on best place to host your podcast?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (33:22):
I really like Simplecast for people who are just starting out. It is… A lot of my production clients use that. It’s super easy to post. It’s almost foolproof. They give you pretty decent analytics. The main one in the game is Libsyn. That is the number one, which I still like to recommend, because it’s been around the longest, which means it’s going to stay around. The only problem with it is that it’s not very UX friendly, and so it looks a little bit like an old website, whereas Simplecast, you could do from your phone. So, it’s really easy.
Lisa Larter (33:55):
Yeah. So, Steve just asked, he’s like, “Wait, I missed something, or did you just say there’s no money in podcasting?” So, you did say there’s no money in podcasting, but I think what you meant is that there’s no money being directed into advertising, I’m going to say, on podcasting the way there is on, let’s say, mainstream media, radio advertising-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (34:21):
Sort of. What I moreso mean is that there are not a lot of full time positions on podcasting for producers. So, that is generally the standard for any industry as to whether or not there’s enough money to sustain an industry, is whether or not there are enough places for people to get paid, and to do their thing, and get paid their worth. So, in this case, for the book, the book is mainly for people who are novice, or business owners, or just trying to make their own podcast. But the industry itself still has a long way to go. Most producers are freelance.
Lisa Larter (34:59):
Right. So, what you mean is that there’s not a lot of money to be made working in podcast industry. You don’t mean that there’s not a lot of money… I mean, I-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (35:11):
Well, it still trickles down, though. Because if the industry doesn’t receive value, then individual podcasters are also not going to reap the benefits of that.
Lisa Larter (35:23):
I think it depends on the type of business you have. I have had people seek out my coaching advice, for example, and invest over $20,000 working with me because they heard me on somebody else’s podcast. So, I think there’s the lead generation benefit that definitely comes through podcasting. I think what I’m hearing you say is that if you are getting into podcasting because you think that it’s going to be the next slot machine, and you’re going to have advertisers lined up, and you’re going to be cranking out tens of thousands of dollars per episode, you’re probably delusional at this point, unless you are someone like a Trevor Noah, or a Dax Shepard, a celebrity style person who is going to get more funding, which would be aligned with what you said you predict will happen in 2021.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (36:15):
Yes. Yeah, I think that lead generation is the number one reason to have a podcast if you’re a business. I tell everyone that if you don’t have a podcast in your business, you need to have a podcast, you need to figure it out. Even if it’s 10 minutes a week or something, you got to have one. And you got to get on other people’s podcasts. So, I guess that is… But that’s more of a form of promotion than making money directly from an advertisement or something on your podcast itself.
Lisa Larter (36:41):
Exactly. It’s an indirect source of income through leads. You have to be sophisticated enough to close the lead opportunity. Otherwise, you’re not going to make any money from it. So, I agree with you there. So, let’s talk about this interview, or this conversation, whatever we want to call it. If you were advising me, is this something that you would say I could repurpose as a podcast, or is this a little bit too informal? What standards would you apply to these types of conversations that people have online every day, in that these are good examples to repurpose for podcasting, and these are not?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (37:25):
I would say that anything that is going to be repurposed should go through some sort of critical listen. And most of the time, 30% at least, can be taken out. So, there are definitely questions that probably don’t land, and you don’t need to have those in there. You’re just wasting time. You’re wasting somebody’s attention that they could be doing something else. And they will stop listening to your podcast if there’s too many of those. So, with repurposed content, I think it’s fine to do something like this, especially if you have this podcast specifically for your book club, then that would be another way that they could consume this without having to watch the video. So, that would be great. But if you were going to repurpose it just for a general podcast, I would say you just need to edit. Always edit out content that doesn’t need to be in there.
Lisa Larter (38:12):
Right. So, talk to me about editing and the cost benefit of editing. Because as you know, podcast production can get expensive, depending on the length of time. The longer the podcast, the more involved the editing can be. Because I think what you just said made a lot of sense. If I asked you a question that wasn’t really a good question, or we fumbled over it, or maybe there was a bit of… The audio was degraded in some way, there are things that you would want to cut out. And that makes a lot of sense to me now. But I would not have considered if I was thinking of repurposing, because I think from the vantage point of doing videos. If I’m doing a video or I’m doing a Facebook Live, I have this attitude, it is what it is, not editing it, it is that’s how I speak, that’s how… But what I’m hearing you say is distinctly different, which is don’t waste your listeners’ time. If there’s a question or a segment or a portion that doesn’t add value when you listen back to it, chop it, get it on the cutting room floor, and tighten up the interview so that it’s more valuable in what you’re delivering.
Lisa Larter (39:26):
So, I think what you’re saying is that I would be better, if I was going to repurpose this, 60 minutes, let’s call it, it would be better for me to repurpose 30 minutes of the best content than 60 minutes of all of it that might not be useful.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (39:42):
Yes. I think that that’s true of everything. I think that editing is just the most important thing that you can do in podcasting, and it’s not that difficult. Even if you don’t want to pay for a producer, you can do it yourself. As you get comfortable, and again, as you listen to yourself and you listen to the things that you can obviously take out, it’s really not that difficult to learn audio editing, especially for basic things like that, where you could just make a cut and take something out.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (40:09):
Somebody is asking about producer costs. There are a couple of questions about this, so I think I should address that. I talk about this in the book, but there’s a few levels of podcast producer. And again, because the industry isn’t regulated, it’s hard to really define what those are. But there’s a basic editor, which will just take out likes and ums, and do a quick mix, which just makes all the levels match, and make sure that it’s the correct loudness for consuming on a cell phone or a computer. There’s a mid range one, which is what I like to do with my clients, which is more of I will take out content that I don’t think needs to be in there, or I will make everybody sound smarter, and I will just make everything much more polished and pay more attention to levels, do it more intentionally, and not just a blanket thing. So, those are a little bit more expensive. And I would say that probably ranges from 125 to 200.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (41:09):
And then there’s also the highest level, which is executive producers. So, those are the people who are going to storyboard with you, they’re going to book your guests for you, they’re going to help you figure out what you need to be talking about in your interviews, help you come up with questions. If you’re doing a storytelling type of podcast, they will be the ones who are collecting all the tape and cutting it together and directing the rest of the team. So, it just depends on how much you value your time. Honestly, if you really want to have a high quality podcast and not spend eight hours of your own time figuring out how to edit it, then just hire somebody.
Lisa Larter (41:42):
Yeah. And the other thing that I will add to that, Anna, is that it’s more than just the production cost too. It’s the marketing cost associated with the creation of each episode. So, I know that… I don’t know how much you know about my work, Amanda, but I essentially run an agency. And so, we do podcast management for some of our clients. And we do audiograms, and we do the customized visuals, and all of those things. And so, it’s almost like there’s a buffet, and you can pig out at the buffet and be really bloated because you consumed everything, or you can have a little bite of a few things, and that will cost less. So, it really, I think, depends on what you want to do.
Lisa Larter (42:30):
I know we were pricing, Cassy and I were looking at things for our clients the other day, because we were like, “My God, there’s so many different options.” And if you have an hour long podcast, and you want high quality professional editing done, and you want the book ends, the intro and the outro added, and you want all the ums and uhs taken out, and you want different audiograms, and you want somebody to do detailed show notes and link to resources, you could literally be up in the five to $750,000 per episode, depending on all the different pieces that you want. And so, I think that’s why I say done is better than perfect. Even though I am lousy at taking my own advice, clearly. My podcast is a no hit wonder, because I didn’t have one. I think that it’s almost better to start and throw some things out there. Not throw things out there, but get a few things going and see how that works for you. Because if I put a podcast out there, and I was getting one hit to my website a week, and I was getting one listener per week, I’m not going to invest $1,000 in that. But if I put something out there, and all of a sudden, it’s really taking off, then I’m going to probably become a little bit more serious about it.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (43:50):
Yeah. I will say, though, that producers are not going to do half of that stuff that you just listed. They might give you show notes, and they might give you a few quotes per episode, but they’re not going to create audiograms or any kind of marketing content for you. That’s not at the level that you would probably want to pay out anyway. But there are places that, there are production companies out there that you can have on retainer. There’s one that is 60 bucks a month, and they will process three 60 minute episodes for you every month, and you just pay it on a flat fee and they do that. They don’t do a ton of content editing, but if you just have an interview podcast you don’t want to do any editing, any major cuts, then that is a great option. And there are other ones that are same day ones for 25 bucks, or you can hire an individual like me on Upwork or something like that. So, it just depends on what you want.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (44:39):
But even taking out the time that it takes to edit the podcast will give you more time to make those marketing materials. Because if you are trying to do it on your own, and you don’t know what you’re doing, it will just take way longer.
Lisa Larter (44:52):
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I feel like there’s just so many nuances and different things that you can do when it comes to podcasting. And I think that’s where I get a little bit overwhelmed. It’s different when we’re doing it for other clients, because we’re basically just taking it… They’ve already recorded it, so we’re taking the file, and we’re doing what they want us to do. But it’s getting myself to the stage of recording and deciding on all the different elements that I want to put forward in the podcast. And then just getting out of my own way in my head, right?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (45:27):
It’s true, but I think that that’s where planning really helps combat overwhelm. Because if you really know what you’re… Once you get in the groove of doing it, it becomes second nature. It just be… I ran a weekly podcast for six years, and ran a team of 50 volunteers who worked on it, which is a combination of producers and interviewers. And that alone is an insane amount of work, but it just folded into my week once I got the hang of how we were going to systematize it, and do it, and all of that stuff. And having a weekly podcast is a lot of work, as some of you might know, if you have a podcast. So, once you put in all of the work upfront reading the book, and planning the things, and you get over that overwhelm, because pretty quickly, it will just become second nature, and you’ll know exactly what to do. You just have to do it a few times.
Lisa Larter (46:15):
So, what are the biggest mistakes that you see people make when it comes to starting a podcast? What are the three biggest mistakes?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (46:22):
Using Zoom. Not… Oh, what are the big three? I think that quality is a huge one in general, just because people really won’t listen to bad quality. They will just turn it off. So, that could fall into using Zoom, or not using an external mic, or just sounding terrible. And then I do think that the conversation thing is… It’s a pet peeve for me, but I think it is a mistake, because I think that you really do have to be intentional about what kind of audio you’re putting into the world. And maybe not hiring a producer, but that, I guess, falls into the quality category.
Lisa Larter (47:05):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (47:06):
Just do yourself a favor. Just don’t buy that dress, or that suit, or that whatever, and just hire a producer instead.
Lisa Larter (47:15):
Hey, I’m all about hiring producers. The less work that I have to do, the better. But where I find it challenging is the preparation. So, when you are preparing for an interview, what are the types of things that you do to prepare? What is an appropriate number of questions to have prepared versus overkill versus not enough?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (47:40):
Yeah, I will say that because I generally interview people who are very used to being interviewed, it’s a little bit different. But what I found is that seven questions was 10 minutes of tape. So, if you’re really… If you’re actually interviewing them, and you’re not trying to enlist a conversation inside the interview, then it will go pretty quickly. And that’s fine. Because again, you are getting the information that you wanted to get. And you can put other things in there, like sound effects, and music breaks, and whatever, and make it super interesting to your listener to hear. So, I would say coming with seven questions, and then a rough outline of possible follow up questions, or things you just want to know in general, but don’t really want to formulate a specific question about that is super helpful to do.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (48:28):
I always Google everybody I’m going to talk to you beforehand, and I focus on finding, pretty quickly, and understanding all of the things that are already out there en masse, and I don’t ask them anything about those things. Because if somebody listens to your podcast, and they’re interested in the guest, they will Google the thing, and then they’re going to be super disappointed when they find that all you ask them about is the first three search results that already exist. So, for most-
Lisa Larter (48:55):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (48:55):
Yeah, so it’s for most average dose, that’s probably not going to be the case. Most of us don’t have a huge presence on the interview or on the internet, and don’t do a ton of interviews all the time. So, that’s where you can ask some pre-interview questions if you want to over email. But I would say seven to 10 questions is a good place to start, and then have a general outline about where you want the conversation to go.
Lisa Larter (49:18):
So, what are your favorite podcasts right now? What are you listening to?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (49:22):
I really like Black Girl and OHM. Checkbox Other is another one that I really like. The quality is not great, but she’s a good host, and the conversations are good. What else am I listening to? So, this is an interesting thing, actually, which is why podcasting is so effective. It’s very niche, and that’s why it works, is because you can find your people if you need to find your people. So, I recently became a stepmom. So, one of the podcasts I listen to is from a stepmom coach called Jamie Scrimgeour. And she really takes her podcast super seriously. She interviews really interesting people who are sharing their experience and stuff, but that has been super helpful for me, because it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the struggles that I’m having, or to get other perspectives on how to handle certain situations without needing to seek out somebody specific to talk to about it. And that’s why podcasting works so well for a lot of people.
Lisa Larter (50:19):
Absolutely. And what are your thoughts on hosting your own podcast versus being a guest on other people’s podcasts? Pros, cons?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (50:29):
You mean mutually exclusive, or…
Lisa Larter (50:33):
Well, I think that a lot of… For me personally, in the beginning, the reason that I didn’t start a podcast is I always felt that I would rather be on someone else’s podcast, because that’s a brand new audience for me, than my own podcast. Because if I’m doing my own podcast, the people that are on my mailing list, the people that read my blog, the people will follow me on social media, it’s just another channel for them to consume content. So, obviously, to your point, people are searching keywords to find information on podcasts. But that was my thinking years ago when people started doing podcasting. So, what would you say are the benefits to having your own show versus being a guest on someone else’s show?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (51:19):
I think it depends on what you’re trying to get out of it. Just to use the stepmom thing as an example, again, that’s how I found the podcast, was because I was having a moment, and Googling all of the things, and trying to find some support somewhere. And I found this woman’s blog, and then I found out she had a whole website, and she had a book, and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is amazing.” And she had a podcast, and I started listening to it. I was like, “This is great.” So, I never would have found her podcast by searching in a podcast app store, because it would just take… It would be so hard. How would you even search that? So, you have to find it through website, or brand, or blog, or something like that.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (51:56):
And I do think, to your point, that it is really important to go on other people’s shows, because it is a new listener base for you, or new client base, whatever it is you’re trying to do. But I think the longer that you exist as a podcast and making the content that you’re making, the more chance you have for someone to find you later. They don’t have to find you right away, but they might find you five years from now, and be like, “I’m going to hire you on the spot, because you obviously know what you’re talking about.” Maybe they’re a really research oriented person, so they want to know what they’re getting into before they hire you, or comparing things. So, I think they both have benefits, and they just serve totally different needs.
Lisa Larter (52:39):
I was listening to a podcast, I posted it in the group, I don’t know if you saw it. It was the B2B Marketing Podcast, where they interviewed Christopher Lochhead. And one of the things that he said is that people need to get over vanity metrics. And if you are listening… If you only have 100 listeners, that you need to think of it as a fireside chat with 100 people who are really interested in what you have to say, and that we need to stop comparing our podcast for our businesses with the Ariana… I don’t even know how to say her last name.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (53:17):
Lisa Larter (53:17):
Grande, there you go. Better not have her on my show. Of the world, because it’s just not… It’s not the same. What are your thoughts on that? Should people… What stats are the most important stats for people to consume themselves with?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (53:35):
Yeah, I think that you’re the measure of your own success, right, so you just have to figure out what it is you’re trying to achieve. One example that I would like to share, I’m not going to name the places, just because I can’t. But there is a political podcast here in Chicago that’s put on by one of the universities. And it is super important. It’s doing really interesting work. It has some really great guests on it. And it’s funded by the university, but the listenership is terrible. It’s 50 downloads a week kind of thing. And it’s backed by university, so they can just pay for it, and bleed money, and it’s fine or whatever. But what’s important about it is that people from the White House have listened to it. And things have changed because of this podcast that we don’t know as individuals. But if you have the right people, if you’re trying to do something, if you’re trying to shift something, and you can reach those people and make them listen to you, then that is a massive measure of success. If you’re trying to make money, and you need to get advertisers, then you need to have over 5,000 downloads.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (54:41):
So, it just depends on what your goals are with your podcast. If you’re trying to create a certain amount of lead generation for your business each week, then that’s how you would measure that, and you would just have to play with how you’re advertising and how you’re marketing it, who you’re getting it to, things like that.
Lisa Larter (54:57):
Awesome. You’re just such a wealth of information. You really, really know your stuff when it comes to podcasting. That’s awesome. It’s impressive. It’s nice to see a woman writing a book and leading about a new medium for communication this way.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (55:14):
Thank you. Yeah, and that’s why I did it. The publisher had to convince me a little bit, because I was like, “I don’t know enough about this to do this,” even though I coach, and I was… Because it’s not an industry. There’s no degree for it. Yeah, I was a journalist for 10 years, but nobody really knows how to do this. So, it was more a matter of just sitting down and being like, “Yes, I want to organize this information for people and make it super accessible, because anybody can do it.”
Lisa Larter (55:39):
Yeah, I think you did a really good job. I have a client who has an amazing, amazing voice, and he has done some work in the music industry. He’s very well connected, and I keep saying, “You need to start podcasts, you need to start a podcast.” Because one, he’s a great conversationalist, but he’s also got a really great voice. Some people just have a really great voice. And I sent him a copy of your book. And he read the whole thing, and he sent me a picture with all these little post it notes in it, and he’s like, “This was so good, and I have so many great ideas about where to get started.”
Lisa Larter (56:14):
And so, I really appreciate you writing the book, because I feel like I have a resource tool. Sure, some of it, it’s like, I’m not going to write a script for a monologue. I’m not going to do some of the stuff in here. But it was really interesting for me to learn about those things in the greater context of what podcasting is versus what I perceive podcasting to be. So, I appreciate you writing the book. I’ve been looking for a book for a while, and was not able to find resources. Probably, like most online marketers, I know who John Lee Dumas is. Hey, I bought Podcasters’ Paradise probably a decade ago and never watched a thing, right? It’s so… For me, reading is really how I learn, and I think you did a stellar job on the book, and really helped to demystify what podcasting is really all about, and to give people a step by step roadmap in terms of getting started. So-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (57:17):
Thank you. That was definitely the goal.
Lisa Larter (57:20):
Yeah, you did a really good job. And I just want to say thank you for being here. I want to be respectful of your time. I think that’s another thing that’s important in podcasting, right? If you tell somebody you’re going to be 60 minutes, finish in 59. Don’t go over.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (57:35):
I do want to mention too, though, just for your readers, because I know, I’m sure that since you do a book club, there are people who probably can’t read the whole book in one month, but I am… There is an audio book coming out very soon. I just finished it, so it will be… I don’t know when. The publisher’s working on that, but probably in the next few weeks.
Lisa Larter (57:52):
Awesome, awesome. And do you have… You said you have a coaching business. What website should people go to if they want to learn more about your work in the podcasting space?
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:02):
Sure. It’s howtopodcastcorp, so howtopodcast C-O-R-P.com.
Lisa Larter (58:07):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:08):
You can also just Google me, but I don’t know why, but she didn’t put my whole name on the book. But it’s Amanda Roscoe Mayo, and it’ll come up with all of my bylines, and websites, and podcasts, all those things.
Lisa Larter (58:19):
Awesome. Great. Well, thank you very much, Amanda. I appreciate you-
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:22):
Lisa Larter (58:22):
…taking an hour with us today, and for enlightening us all more about podcasting.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:27):
Absolutely. It’s my pleasure.
Lisa Larter (58:29):
All right. Thank you. Take care.
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:30):
Thanks, you too.
Lisa Larter (58:31):
Amanda Roscoe Mayo (58:31):
Lisa Larter (58:32):
Bye, everyone. Thank you for being here. I hope you got a lot of value from this, and I hope you’re starting a budget for podcast production.
Lisa Larter (58:40):
Thank you for joining me for this episode of She Talks Business. If you enjoyed the show, you know the drill, leave us a review, tell someone about it and join the conversation on social media. Thanks for listening and until next time remember, done is always better than perfect.