Jul 19, 2018
My friend, Mike, wants to launch a podcast. He was thinking of recording using his phone, then exporting the audio file and finally uploading it to Libsyn. As simple as 1, 2, 3. He asked me how much time I spent on my podcast and what is my process. Well, no one has asked me that question before.
For me to talk for a solid 7 minutes about a topic, I need a script. So, I start with a script. It usually takes me about 90 minutes to write a full 7 min script with a couple rounds of edits. Then, I take 30-40 minutes to record several takes, You know how it is; the first take never really works. Once that’s done, I export to my Mac and upload the audio file for my editor to access. My editor, Jeff Julian, is a smart software developer who also knows marketing and technology. Whenever I have questions about marketing technology, I talk to him.
Ok, I got sidetracked a little. Let’s get back to the podcast process.
Now, Jeff has my audio file.
First, he needs to extract the audio to a mono track since my recorder saves the file in stereo with only one channel of audio. Next, he needs to reduce the gaps between sentences to half a second to make it sound fluent, but I can tell you that I do have longer pauses when I do my recording. After that, he needs to normalize my sound and volume to the suggested level. I don’t know what that means, but, apparently, there is a certain volume level that you need to set up for podcasts. Ok, then! He is making it tight!! Oh, I am not done.
The next step, he needs to take out my breathing noise. Finally, he will edit out my bloopers and then add music to the beginning and end of the podcast. Are you tired yet? I am. He is still not done! Once he has a final file, he uploads it and the transcript to Libsyn so that the podcast can be syndicated to iTunes, iHeart Radio and other podcast platforms. This process not only takes a powerful machine to make these steps go fast, but he uses a suite of tools that cost over $2,500, plus other software subscriptions that are $60/month.
Once he is done, Iva, my marketing manager, will take over. She uploads the link to my website. Although my podcast promotion drives traffic to iTunes, I make sure that I have all my content in one place on my website.
Let me run some math for you, Mike. It took me 2 hours to write a script and do a recording. Jeff needs to take a couple of hours to make it sound great and Iva takes 15 min to upload and test it. I am talking about 4-5 hours to produce a 7 min podcast from beginning to end, and I am not counting the time that Iva needs to promote to various social media sites. When everything is done, it’s about 7 hours’ worth of work for 7 Minute Marketing.
When I shared the whole process with Mike, he was like: “What?” I was also like “What?” Before thinking through it and adding it all up, I didn’t know that it takes 7 solid hours to do one podcast. Am I doing it the hard way… What am I thinking? Mike, your rustic approach may work. I know other podcasters don’t spend the amount of time and effort like me and got more listeners than me. Who knows? Your podcast will take off and become a sensation.
Mike, at the end of the day, it’s about your topic and audience. Your audience may be OK with your authentic approach. Since I talk about marketing topics, I want to make sure that I share something my audience will find useful… To do that, I need to make sure that my content flows logically. To flow logically, I need to take time to write my script. Then, I need to practice several times before I record because recording doesn’t come naturally to me. I am still working on my delivery. Mike, another thing about podcasts is that you can’t create just 2 or 3 episodes. You need to publish episodes on a regular cadence. It’s work. It’s a lot of work!
After my chat with Mike, he was a little overwhelmed. I don’t blame him, I would be, too. I told him if he feels strongly about it, try it. He has nothing to lose; it’s not like his livelihood is depending on it. He told me that he would think about it a little more, especially about what he wants it to be about. He is right; content is everything. Determine what you want to say first, production is secondary.
By talking to Mike and other senior executives, there is a perception that digital is easy. It’s easy to produce a video, a podcast, and an image because everyone is doing it. It’s easy because the tools are readily available, but to do it well to drive conversions takes time and effort. And it’s never easy! And it’s never free.
Talking with Mike made me realize that Jeff and Iva have done a lot of work to make me look good online. Thank you, Jeff and Iva. You are awesome. I very much appreciate your help.
Again, send me your marketing questions or thoughts via Twitter @pamdidner
Be well. Until next time.