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In this episode we'll cover important elements including the name and branding for your show, along with a review of best practices for creating your production plan.
FullCast’s Client Centric Mission
We help results-driven business owners who excel in their industry and are committed to leaving a lasting legacy. We will help them by launching, producing, marketing and supporting their authority-building podcast, while allowing them the freedom to focus on their genius.
The change we want to make is that business owners stop trying to do it all themselves, empower a supportive production partner, and focus on creating compelling and inspiring podcast episodes. We will know we are successful when we are seen as the organization that can help any business owner create consistent, quality podcast content and feel 100% supported and guided through every step of the process at all times.
Past clients have included Olympic medalist Samantha Peszek, K-Swiss, Dun and Bradstreet, MediaMath, Claremont Graduate University, Dr. Stephanie Estima, Taki Moore, Danny Morel. Harry is also a Founding Advisor to the SquadCast team and works in an advisory capacity with PodCave, Headliner, Glystn and Vurbl.
FullCast.co/pod15 - Book your free Podcast Brainstorm today
FullCast.fm - How to Start a Podcast For Your Business
Podcast Junkies - A podcast about podcasting, since 2014
Hindenburg Journalist - audio editing software
Descript - audio transcription and in-browser editing tool
How to Choose Music for Your Podcast - Pacific Content article
Auphonic.com - free/paid online mastering service
Apple Podcasts Connect - Where to submit your show to Apple Podcasts
ratethispodcast.com/bizcast - Leave a Rating and Review for this show
PodNews Directories - A list of directories you should be submitting your show to
Ready to learn how a podcast can help you amplify your authority and expand your reach? Book a free call today: https://fullcast.co/pod15
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Welcome to How to Start a Podcast For Your Business. I'm Harry Duran. And since 2014, I've been the host of Podcast Junkies. I'm also the founder of FullCast, where we've been helping business owners successfully launch, produce, and market their authority building podcasts.
Welcome to Module 3, Producing your authority-building podcasts. If you haven't listened to the first two modules on Planning and Positioning your show, make sure you do that, as it's important for setting the groundwork.
In this episode, we're going to cover the basics of editing and mastering your audio, creating your Episode Zero trailer, and the process of submitting your show to Apple Podcasts.
Now, when it comes to editing, naturally because this is an audio podcast, there's only so much we can cover in terms of the basics. So when it comes to editing, I have two recommendations for editing software. Naturally, if you've edited audio in the past, you may have a go-to favorite. But what I found is that there are now new tools available that make the editing process easy and dare I say even fun.
My first recommendation is Hindenburg Journalist. It's a quirky name with a bit of history, but hands down one of my favorite tools for editing shows. I remember when I first got started, I had experience in music production so I was using a tool called Ableton Live. And if there's any music producers listening, they're very familiar with it.
When it comes to editing podcasts though, it's definitely overkill. Tools like Ableton, Adobe Audition, and even GarageBand are made for producing not only voice but also music as well. And as such, they usually end up with a lot of features that most podcasters would not end up using. I'll provide links in the show notes for you to sign up with a trial for Hindenburg Journalist.
Now there are 3 variations of the tool. Hindenburg provides a wide range of flavors when it comes to their tool, but for most podcasters you can get started with their basic Hindenburg Journalist. There's also Hindenburg Journalist Pro, Hindenburg Broadcaster and Hindenburg Educator.
But I found that Journalist is the best option when you're just getting started. And Hindenburg provides a 30 day trial as well. Journalist has the basics that are needed, you can record, import audio, organize your clips, leveling is included, and even several publishing tools which allow you to export it directly to Libsyn or SoundCloud, if that’s where you host have your podcast, There is even an option to publish to several of the popular podcast hosting platforms as well. As a matter of fact, I'm recording this episode on Hindenburg Journalist.
Now, one of the things you want to keep in mind when you are editing audio is to keep the tracks separate and keep everything organized. So that it's easy for you to edit subsequent episodes and also easy for anyone to open up your Hindenburg session, and easily see how you have audio organized.
At a minimum, most podcasts will have music and so I'd like to start out with a music track as the first one and then typically I'd have an intro track as the second track and that's normally where you would have the intro for the podcast and also the outro. Having it organized in this way gives you a nice visual so you can see where the different segments of your show are. Then depending on whether it's a solo show or an interview based show, the subsequent tracks 3 and 4 would be where you have the audio laid out.
Lastly, I like to keep a 5th track open as I'm editing audio and that's where I tend to store snippets of audio that I hear during the process of the editing that I want to pull out later and use as an open in my shows. You may be familiar with this concept, it's known as a cold open and it's a 15-30-second sound bite, usually not much more than that, but it's a segment of audio from the conversation or from the solo episode. The idea here is to capture a bit of audio that's intriguing and pulls the listener in and compels them to want to listen to the rest of the episode.
Now we'll do a little theater of the mind here. Think about how this all comes together. What we typically like to do when we produce shows for clients is start with that cold open, so that 15-30 second sound bite, then we would fade the music in, that intro part of the music is where you would have a show intro. And that one that would repeat over each episode, so typically, it would be something that says “Hey, this is the podcast where you're going to discover the greatest tips in Marketing, with your host Harry Duran”.
And if you think about it, a good guideline would be to have that voice recorded using a voiceover that's different from the host. It's not a requirement but it sets the stage for the host to enter. If you think about if you've ever spoken in public, and you remember the person that introduces the speaker to the stage, that's typically the function of a show intro. So now you have the music playing, the show intro, and then the music typically fades out. At that point, the host can come in and say welcome to the show, and introduce that episode’s content.
One of the challenges that trips new podcast editors up in the beginning is to overdo it when it comes to editing out the ‘umms’ and the ‘ahhs’ and the breaths. If you think about how podcasts are consumed, it's a very intimate medium, people are listening on earphones, as you most likely are right now.
And it's normal for a speaker to take a breath in between words. As I'm doing, in the course of this recording, the pauses add a little bit of a human touch, and it's how people normally speak. So don't feel the need to edit all those out. And along those same lines, if you can edit out an ‘umm’ or ‘ahh’ or an extended stutter, or a long pause, those usually do help to tighten up the pace of the show.
Again, it's usually a personal preference but in the beginning, I would edit lightly and then have someone else listen to the audio and give you feedback especially for those first few. When you're first getting started, you probably want to think about a 3:1 ratio in terms of editing time to actual audio time. So for an hour of an interview, it would probably be best to set aside 3 hours especially in those early days as you're learning the ropes of the software, and also learning the rhythm for your own editing process.
Now as you think about finishing up an episode, typically at the end, what would happen is the host would wrap up the conversation with the guests and thank them for coming on. Or, if it's a solo episode, the host can then wrap up the points that were discussed in that week's content.
There's an old sales maxim that says tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them. And I always like to think about that when I'm guiding clients on how to record their podcast episodes and how to present their content.
So as the episode wraps up, then typically what would happen is you would have an outro and the outro, like I said, it could be the host. And then you could have the show outro. So in the same way you had the announcer's voice announcing the beginning of the show.
Ideally, you would bookend that with that same voice announcing the end of the episode. There's a couple of things you want to include in your show outro. And I'll give you an example of one here.
“Thanks for listening to the podcast, to learn more about what was covered in this episode, including a summary, timestamps, a few quotes from the episode, and any links mentioned, please visit my website.com/podcast.”
That's a basic example. But it lets people know where to go as far as the next step. Now these can get much more advanced and for some of the work we do with clients, we actually have a call to action that has them download a lead magnet as a way to get them on their email list or has them book a time to schedule a strategy session or a sales call.
So these can be customized depending on your need. Ideally, you want a simple, clear call to action at the end of each episode and the guidance that we provide to our clients is:
“What's the one thing you want the listener to do as a result of having listened to the episode.”
So that would be your show outro and then typically at that point is where the music fades back in for a couple of hours and then ends nicely. And that gives you the two bookends for a podcast episode.
OK, so I realize that that's a lot to visualize on a podcast episode, but I wanted to give you an idea of how a basic edit happens in Hindenburg. Again, it's my go-to recommendation, Hindenburg Journalist and we'll provide a link in the show notes so you can sign up for a 30 day trial.
Another tool that's getting a lot of attention is Descript and it was founded by the former CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason. Andrew and I actually spoke a couple of times (Episode 156 and Episode 207) on Podcast Junkies and it's been fascinating to see what they've been putting together. The company has received a good deal of funding and essentially, what makes it so special is it allows you to edit audio as if you were using a word processing tool.
The way it works is that you upload your audio, Descript provides a transcription and then the text is available on screen. You then begin editing the actual words on the screen, and it intuitively edits the corresponding audio. I know it sounds like a bit of magic, but it's fascinating to see how they've been able to make that happen.
So, I've been seeing a lot of new podcasters go with something like Descript because it doesn't require you to think like an audio editor. It's more intuitive and uses an interface that a lot more people are comfortable with. So Hindenburg Journalist and Descript are my two tool recommendations for editing audio.
Now, one of the things you want to think about if you are a business owner, is that while it's helpful for you to learn the basics of editing, I would venture to say it's not something that's a specialty or what my coach likes to say, your Genius. So very quickly, you want to start thinking about opportunities for outsourcing that. And if you do need help with that, that's a service that we provide at FullCast. Simply send me an email at email@example.com with the words ‘podcast fan’ in the subject line, and we'd be happy to help.
The next topic I want to cover is music. At FullCast. We're big fans of the team at Pacific cContent. And a recent article that they wrote was titled, How to Choose Music for Your Podcast. And their tagline is that it's not about the music, it's about the feelings. So I'll provide a link to the actual article because I think it's going to be very helpful. But what you want to think about at a high level is that the music should set a tone for your show.
Naturally, it should be royalty free, so you don't run into any copyright issues. If you do have the funds and the budget to obtain copyright music, naturally they can up level your show as well. I'm going to provide links in the show notes for a variety of services that provide royalty free music. Some of the ones that we like include Megatrax, Podcast Music, Pond 5, Audio Junge, and Blue Dot Sessions. The list keeps on changing periodically, so we'll make sure to keep it updated as well.
And remember, as with all things when when it comes to editing, less is more, you don't have to overdo it with the music, sometimes it just helps to add a little bit of tone in the beginning and at the end. If you want to get a little fancier, you can take some of those snippets of the audio that you've chosen and use them for transition elements in a show. But again, less is more, start with a minimalist approach. And again, get feedback from friends and have them describe to you the mood that is being conveyed by the music that you selected to see if you're on the right path.
OK, so now you have an edited episode with music. And what you want to do is export it as a WAV file. This is really important and new podcasters sometimes get tripped up on this idea of compression and lossless files. So the basics are that you always want to export your audio as a lossless format and that would typically be the WAV format.
Now once the file is exported as WAV, the next step would be to master it. You can have someone master it in their audio tool if they are a professional podcast editor and tools like Hindenburg and Adobe Audition make that really easy if you know what you're doing. I myself studied mastering when I was doing my music production and suffice it to say that it is an art in and of itself.
Luckily, there is a tool that makes this extremely easy and it's my go to recommendation for new podcasters. The tool is called Auphonic. We’ll provide a link in the show notes, it's spelled Auphonic.com. The beauty of Auphonic is that it allows you to master up to 2 hours of audio free every month. And then if you need additional time, you can simply buy what you need. Auphonic makes it so easy to master the audio and it's a no brainer for you to do that with every piece of audio that you produce. It helps level your speaker's out, provides noise and hum reduction and also gets your audio to the proper volume for podcasts.
This is known as LUFS. It's a technical term, but it's a standard for all podcasts. And with Auphonic you can select that as a preset. So master through Auphonic and you'll be happy you did. It'll even out and level your audio and make it sound truly professional.
Now that you have the basics down for editing audio, what you want to think about is producing your Episode Zero. This is also known as your Podcast Trailer. Episode Zero is important as it serves as an introduction to your show. And from our standpoint, it serves multiple purposes.
One, it introduces the listener to you and also it's important to have audio when you're ready to submit the show to Apple podcasts. The 4 things you need when submitting a show are a podcast name, a podcast description, podcast cover art, and one piece of audio. And typically this is going to be your podcast trailer.
One of the reasons we work on this as the first piece of audio when we're launching shows for clients is that the submission process to apply can sometimes take several days. And having this episode allows us to start the process and ensure everything looks OK once we're ready with the subsequent episodes 1, 2, and so forth.
The other benefit is that it can be used as a reference in future episodes. You can direct new listeners to the episode trailer, and it will provide the background story on the podcast. Each Episode Zero should include the following components. Introduce yourself and a bit of your background story.
They should serve to demonstrate why you're qualified to lead this conversation. Let them know the reason for the podcast, why you felt there was a need to create this show and why you are the right person to do it. Talk about your plans for the show. If possible, give listeners a sneak preview of the guests you're expecting. And also how often you'll be publishing. Anything you're doing to kick off the show differently than what the normal cadence of the show will be, should also be mentioned.
So for example, if it is going to be a weekly show, but you're launching with 2 a week for the first month, you will want to let the listener know that as well. Let them know their feedback is important, and give them a reason to subscribe.
The good thing about having this episode in Apple Podcasts is that you can then begin to promote the show and let them know that it's available on Apple Podcasts just with that podcast trailer. You can then instruct your fans, your supporters to go subscribe to the show. And the beauty of that is that once you start releasing the subsequent episodes, since they've already subscribed, those new episodes will be downloaded automatically to their podcast player.
Keep it friendly, keep it conversational. What we found is something in that 10-15 minute range tops usually works best. You don't want to make it too long as you'll run the risk of boring the listener right out of the gate and that's something you don't want to do. So keep it lively, keep it short, to the point and the overall tone should be you expressing the excitement about why you've decided to launch this show. That's the important takeaway.
Okay, so we've covered the editing, we've covered the mastering, we've covered Episode Zero. And as I mentioned, the next step would be to submit your show to Apple. The main thing you want to be sure of here is that you already have a valid Apple ID. So if you don't have one, make sure that's the first thing you do, create an Apple ID. Once you have that, you can log in to Apple Podcasts Connect. And again, there'll be links for this in the show notes as well.
There you'll be prompted to enter and validate your RSS feed, which will be provided by your podcast hosting company. Once the RSS feed is validated, Apple will send you a confirmation email and then within a few days, you'll be notified that your show is live in the Apple Podcast directory. I'll provide some additional resources in the show notes for the list of other directories you should be submitting your show to. These include Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Pandora, etc.
The key thing to remember is that you want your show to be found on every single platform where podcasts are now being found. You may not necessarily listen to your shows on Spotify, for example, or TuneIn. There are people that are new to podcasting that are discovering podcasts on those platforms. And it's important that your show be found on all of the available platforms as well.
OK, so that's it for this module on Producing a podcast for your business. In the next module Publish, we'll cover the topics of scheduling your guests, some best practices on email templates, and a primer on how to set up your email list.
Thanks for listening to this episode of How to Start a Podcast For Your Business. To read the full show notes, download a full transcription and review any links or resources mentioned in this episode, go to fullcast.fm. If you're enjoying this episode and found the content valuable leave a rating and review at ratethispodcast.com/bizcast.
And remember, the world needs to hear your voice!