Podcasting in front of the scenes. Last week we had Larry Guerrera on. He’s an IMTC graduate who did so well in school I hired him as a contractor. He went into depth on what goes on behind the scenes at a quality podcast. That was episode 139. In this episode, I’m going to tell you about everything I do before Larry gets the final mp3 file that you all listen to.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 142
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:12] Tom's introduction to In Front of the Scenes [05:42] Booking guests [07:36] How do you book them? [09:21] Tech stuff and questions to ask [10:37] Good old fashioned paper calendar to schedule guests [11:40] Batching recordings in one day [12:52] Scheduled day of the podcast [14:09] Get recorded comments from Facebook Group Admins [14:44] Some audio editing things to consider [16:48] Saving the final edited file [18:59] Getting guests and re-getting guests [19:56] Miscellaneous tips [23:01] Staying organized
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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YouTube Secrets – https://screwthecommute.com/82/
Behind the Scenes – https://screwthecommute.com/139/
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Episode 142 Podcasting Front End This is the companion to last Monday’s episode 139 where my right hand guy Larry told you all the stuff we do behind the scenes after the recording is done and edited.
I’ve got a big Freebie to thank you for listening to this podcast. It’s my $27.00 e-book “How to Automate Your business” Just one of the tips in this e-book has saved me over 7 million keystrokes. And I just might have something else for you over there I’ll know you’ll like. Visit: https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/automatefree
Our Podcast App. Is in the iTunes store. You can also go to https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/app where we have complete instructions to show you how to use all the fancy features so you can take us with you on the road and put it on your cell phone and tablet. If you would be so kind, please visit iTunes and leave us a review and rating. It really helps out the show.
And also, please tell your friends about this podcast. The more successful it is, the more freebies I’ll be giving to our faithful listeners.
Our sponsor this week is me again and the Tom Antion Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program where myself and my staff work with you for a year to either get you started in an Internet business or to use the Internet to take your existing business to the next level. I'll tell you more about that later and details will be at http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com which will be in the show notes at screwthe commute.com
I turned the Internet marketing training world on its head around the year 2000.
People like me were charging 50-100K upfront to teach what we knew to clueless businesspeople who refused to learn. I'm a small business advocate and I knew many small businesses could never afford that kind of upfront money. So, I made all those gurus mad by charging a relatively small entry fee to my program that also got a percentage of profits that was capped so you're not stuck with me forever. So, for me to get my big money you have to make way bigger money. Plus, you know I'm not going to disappear on you because I won't get any more money.
I went one step further that has never been done before. I have a big estate home and TV studio where my students as part of their yearlong training come and actually, stay in my house for an immersion weekend and that's just one of the unique
features of the program. Check out the full details at http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and I'll have it in the show notes.
Podcasting in front of the scenes. Last week we had Larry Guerrera on. He’s an IMTC graduate who did so well in school I hired him as a contractor. He went into depth on what goes on behind the scenes at a quality podcast. That was episode 139. In this episode I’m going to tell you about everything I do before Larry gets the final mp3 file that you all listen to.
This episode isn’t really about equipment. If you got the freebie I’ve been giving away at https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/automatefree there’s an extra freebie there called “What I learned after doing 130 quality podcasts” That tells you all the equipment I’m using. It doesn’t mean you have to use the same thing. It’s just what I’m using. I highly suggest you get someone from a local music store that’s also familiar with recording over the web on different channels to set everything up for you and test it. If you aren’t doing interviews, things are WAY easier and you can get by with just a decent microphone and some cheap or free recording software. When you do interviews, things get more complicated in a hurry. Anyway, grab that freebie along with my business automation eBook at https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/automatefree
So, this episode is about booking guests, doing the recordings, editing and those kinds of things.
If you are just recording information by yourself, then this won’t matter. The reason I don’t think this is the best idea is because your guests can help spread your podcast around to people that most likely would never have heard of you. If you just record yourself, then you’re pretty much done with what I’m talking about here other than editing. Once you get your file, then it would plug into most of what Larry talked about in episode 139 last Monday. So, make sure you listen to that because both of these go together. You can’t have just one or the other.
So, let’s talk about booking guests. The first place you would want to start is by thinking about all the people you know who have information that would make sense for the topic of your show. You might know some fantastically credible people who are really great during interviews, but if they don’t make sense for the topic of your show, then you probably shouldn’t have them on or you should find a way to make it make sense for your audience. Here’s an example:
Obviously Screw the Commute is a small business entrepreneurial podcast. If I landed an interview with let’s say Gini Rometty CEO of IBM, would I take it? You’re darn right I would. I don’t really know if she has been a corporate person her entire life which, you would think, would mean she’s not really relatable to small business entrepreneurs and I shouldn’t have her on the show. Well, let’s think about this for a minute.
IBM and every other big corporation on earth hires contractors for various tasks. These contractors may very well be small business entrepreneurs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the perspective of a major CEO tell us what they look for when bringing in contractors for contracts that could make the little guy entrepreneur rich? I think it would.
So, when thinking about guests think about who you know or who someone you know knows that is directly on point when it comes to your topic. If you do land a big fish that’s not on topic, see how you can make it relate to your audience.
How do you book them? The first thing I do after determining if they have an interest in being interviewed is ask them if they have a high-quality microphone and headphones or earbuds and I wait to hear what they say. I push on this point because most people don’t know what high quality is. They may have done a go to meeting or Zoom or Skype meeting and people could hear them so they thought that was good enough. Just doing an informational meeting that’s not really a show is a far cry from a recorded podcast that will be listened to by hundreds or thousands of people while driving, while they’re on the train or exercising.
People think they spent 39 dollars on a headset microphone and think they have quality. Or they use one of those apple earbuds with the tiny microphone hanging on a wire rubbing on their shoulder. You need to either offer to help them get what they need, offer to do a test before you bother booking a time slot for them, or tell them to get back to you when they have the proper setup. Plosives like when you say something with a “P” sound. Go ahead and try it and feel the air hit your hand. That’s like a sledge hammer hitting the microphone. Hiss, air conditioners, I had one guy where we couldn’t figure out where the bad sounds were coming from and it turned out it was his fish tank LOL. So, he had to turn off the pump while we recorded
Once we have determined they have good enough sound quality and a good internet connection. We suggest they don’t depend on Wifi. Hard wired is always more reliable and better, but not always necessary if they have a good solid and fast connection. Then I send them the full podcast details.
We will have them in the show notes for this episode. They cover things like sample questions I will ask them, I reiterate the importance of sound quality, I give them a time estimate so they can schedule, and lots of other details you’ll see when you check the show notes for this episode 142.
Then I ask them to give me three days and times they can do the recording. I tell them I can usually confirm one of them. I also tell them my time zone and that evenings and weekends are ok with me. Maybe it’s not with you. It doesn’t matter. It only matters that you are clear about when you can do the recording so you aren’t back and forth with ten emails to get it booked.
Some people use online calendar services to do the booking and collect the information. I use a good old fashion paper calendar …..that’s never once in 42 years of business crashed hahahaha.
If you want to use an online service here are a couple: Oh, and one more note. The only time I’ve ever screwed up a booking with someone is when using one of these services. It wasn’t extremely clear about the time zones and we had to reschedule which took several months for us to get back together so beware if you use one of these online schedulers.
Here’s another thing. Some people like to batch a whole bunch of recordings on one day. I don’t think I’ve done more than three in a day and average is one or two. I try to accommodate when the guest is available and also, I don’t want to sound stale or bored from doing too many in one day.
After all that is done, I write up a skeleton of a script. I put in a blub about the current guest. I remind listeners how great the last guest was in case they missed it. I do my announcements and I choose what sponsor message or product of mine I want to promote and then I do the 50-word introduction the guest has given me. Then I bring them on to “Are you ready to screw…..the commute” LOL I don’t do this on the youth episodes and if someone requests that I don’t do it, then I don’t. I’ve only had one so far out of 142 episodes where I didn’t start the show that way.
Anyway, It’s the day of the podcast. I send the guest a zoom link. I used to use Skype, but zoom seems to be so much more reliable and consistent with good clear audio. I turn on my recording system. If I have too many recordings on my back up SD cards, I format them which wipes them clean. BTW I have three recorders going for each podcast. One on the computer and two backup digital recorders.
I record the podcast and then I immediately save the files and take one of the SD cards to the computer where I edit the podcast. I rename it with the guest’s name and I back it up again to that computer which means I now have 4 copies. Then I immediately upload it to dropbox which makes the fifth copy and the first one that’s off premise i.e. in the cloud.
Then I open up Adobe Audition and I pull all the pieces in to the program. …..The intro and outro and my audio track and the guest’s audio track if I have one and any pre-recorded commercials or sound effects. Also, If I’ve solicited an audio comment from someone, I bring that in too.
Let me take a sidebar here. It’s not a bad idea to get recorded comments from Facebook group admins on your topic. Hey, this is a million-dollar tip. If you play their comment in your podcast, they just might put your podcast in front of their group to expose you to lots more people that never heard of you. They’re kind of bragging about themselves but they have control over a big group of people in their Facebook group.
OK. So, this episode is not about audio editing, but just some things you want to consider. I do noise reduction to take away hiss and fan noises and stuff like that. I do a thing called “normalize” which gives you the best signal possible and I know audio people will puke at my definitions, but generally normalize helps give you a good signal. Then I try to match the volumes so that one person isn’t too loud and the other is too soft. The bulk of the editing time is taken up trying to fix up guest recordings. Even great guests have ums and ahs and pauses and audible breaths and lip smacks and they bump their microphone and a whole host of things that make for a terrible recording.
Plosives are really bad like when you say something with a “P” sound. Go ahead and try it and feel the air hit your hand. That’s like a sledge hammer hitting the microphone. hahaha I had one guy where we couldn’t figure out where the bad sounds were coming from and it turned out it was his fish tank LOL
It got so time consuming to fix up everything the guest does wrong, I gave up and only fix up lip smacks, weird electronic noises, pauses that are too long, throat clearings and whatever else is easy to fix. Sometimes if the audible breaths are not too bad, I can apply a thing called a noise gate in the software to cut out low level stuff like that. Like I said, this episode is not supposed to be too technical about audio editing.
Just one other thing if the guest’s voice is annoying either because their voice is just annoying or their microphone and Internet connection is annoying, I try to what is called EQ their track which an attempt to increase or decrease certain frequencies to try to make their voice sound more pleasing.
OK. Once I have the entire file edited, I save a high quality .WAV version. .WAV is high quality on a PC. I think Macs have them too, but I think they also have an .AIFF or something like that. And then I save it to an MP3 file which has a much smaller file size, but I still keep it at CD quality of……and don’t let this throw you….128KBPS (KiloBitsPerSecond). Don’t worry about this too much. If you get someone that knows what they’re doing, they’ll set this all up for you. Then, I immediately upload that mp3 file through a service called wetransfer.com to Larry from episode 139 who takes over from there.
Then I take the fully edited files both the .wav and .mp3 files and back them up to dropbox. I then mark that episode as DONE in all caps and I look at my calendar and note down the date it is supposed to go live.
That’s it. And even though I breezed through the editing part, that’s the most time-consuming part. I had someone here in the office today who asked me why I didn’t turn the editing over to some low-priced labor. The answer is I believe in really high quality and a low-priced editor is just not going to know what to leave in and what to edit out. By the time I have to check all the person’s work, I could have done it myself with less hassle. That’s why I do it and it doesn’t cost anything. If you have someone really sharp who knows how you would handle virtually all the edits you will run in to, then great, go ahead and have them edit. I can assure you, you will be giving up some quality by letting someone else do it.
OK Back to Getting Guests
For most of you, eventually you will run out of guests. If enough time has passed, you can invite back the best guests you have already had. Even if they say the same thing, people probably won’t notice, but just in case when I’m a guest on other shows I always give them different topics to pick from so it’s always fresh information.
When you do run out of guests it’s time to check out other similar podcasts and see who they’ve had as a guest. You then approach those people. With that method you should be able to get guests for a long time to come and then again you can start repeating other great guests you’ve had.
You can also ask other podcast hosts if they could recommend any guests that were especially good.
You will find no shortage of guests if you just do those things.
OK. Here’s some Misc tips.
I probably should have addressed this earlier, but it’s the topic of why you need good sound. You would think it would be obvious to podcast hosts, but I can assure you it’s not. First people will not put up with poor quality sound and will leave and unsubscribe from your podcast. Even further if you start with poor sound and then people try to listen on the train or while working out and they listen through tiny earbuds, they’ll ditch your podcast and listen to someone else’s.
Your recording room has to be quiet or you must be willing to explain away bad or crazy sounds. I’m always explain dogs barking and such because for most of the time I’ve been doing this podcast we’ve had between 20 and 30 dogs here and for some reason they just don’t care if I’m recording or not hahaha. I just don’t understand it hahaha I feed them, I water them, I play with them, I train them, but that’s the payback I get . . . barking during podcasts. hahaha
Most podcasts are pre-recorded which gives you a chance to fix any major screwups, but the more you have to fix in editing rather than recording cleanly right off the bat, the more time consuming each episode will be to prepare. And some things you just can’t fix. Work on your recording area as best you can and you’ll save tons of time and you’ll keep the quality higher.
Many times I just leave noises in, but I always explain them away. If someone comes to the door and the dogs start barking, I just own up to it and keep on going.
Some guest troubles you’ll have are guests that go on and on after they’ve made their point. I have that trouble more than guests that only provide yes or no answers. That’s even worse. Many of my guests are professional public speakers and they have no trouble rattling off answers and stories and giving good voice inflection. And they certainly have plenty to talk about. If you don’t have really experienced guests, you’re going to have to get better at two things. 1. Booking better guests and 2. Improving your hosting skills to keep things moving along.
I try to keep the language PG so I don’t have to tell Larry to mark the episode as explicit in iTunes. I’ve also been known to edit out bad words guests have slipped up and said. I don’t even ask them about it.
I do solo trainings like this one almost every Monday. Once in a while I’ll have one of my employees or contractors chime in on the Monday trainings like last Monday Episode 139 where Larry told you about what he does with the podcast behind the scenes and Episode 82 where Marc was on with YouTube tips.
Here are some of the things I do to stay organized. I have a running list of actual guests that have been recorded and edited. I have next to that what I promoted on that episode and what day it went live. I have a document that has a bunch of text describing each of my products so I can just cut and paste the text into my script for the sponsor messages. I have the guest information which is included in the show notes of this episode and I have a slightly different version for couple or multiple guests *which I don’t do very often). I also have a list of potential guests and when I reached out to them.
So, that’s about it folks. If you carefully listen to this episode in front of the scenes, episode 139 what happens behind the scenes and get the second freebie at https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/automatefree you should be well on your way to creating a great quality podcast.
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Check everything out at the show notes at screwthecommute.com This is episode 142
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