Stop censoring your ideas

Having too much to choose from can be crippling. It becomes worse when you’re trying to find the best out of the lot. This could be ideas, products, services, things to buy, places you want to visit, it’s limitless. One thing we do is filter everything, trying to pick the best. Doing this often delays making decisions and for good reason.

Not rushing the decision helps you to compare and take a deeper look to see if you’re getting value for money. It could be investing your time to exploring an idea further considering the return on your time. Checking to see if a particular product meets the criteria you’re looking for.

This process helps you cut the not so good from the best. Once you’re comfortable that’s the point you commit. 

In some cases that process can save you lots of money. Help you dodge a shady contractor. And give you peace of mind with the results you want. It will be worth when things go well. 

When it goes wrong and it usually does at times, it brings regret, guilt and shame because of the choice. That’s ok because we can learn from these choices. You might lose money, time and progress, but how would you know if it was a bad choice?

You wouldn’t know it was a bad choice unless you made the decision to try it. Or somebody else did it and told you about it. 

The whole point is for some ideas you’ll need to do research. For others, acting on the idea is the best research. Besides, the results will be unknown unless you take action on the idea.

Don’t censor your ideas, do the research and try them all.

Deciding what to talk about on your podcast

One of the hardest decisions to make is deciding what to talk about on your podcast. With lots of ideas floating around its difficult to choose one or a few. Lots of questions floating in your head like will it help me build an audience? Will people like it? Am I good enough? All these and more are running wild in your mind.

But if you take a step back and look at the situation the real issue is not about your ideas. The real issue is insecurity.  You are not sure if podcasting or social media can help you to tell your story.

The fear of not knowing the end result is crippling.  Criticism is something that can make you hide. But hiding and running away won’t make you find the answers to your questions. Being curious will.

In Seth Godin’s book poke the box he says the greatest skill a person can have is initiative. Taking the initiative to ship what you’re working on. Poking the box and try to figure out how it works. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be with the idea. The better you’ll get at doing.

Austin Kleon calls it being an amateur in his book share your work. Always have an open mind to learning new things. And then trying them in public to learn what works for you.

So you see deciding what to talk about is not the issue. Because your aim is always to share a story that solves a problem for your customers. Or in other cases talk about what you’re interested in. Once you do that and analyzing the reaction to your work is a better approach.

How do you choose the best ideas?

It all starts with who will enjoy the idea and who you think your ideal listener is. What I mean by that is choose the ideas that help you show customers how you can help them. How your product/service helps them. If you’re not selling anything choose ideas that interest them.

Start with those ideas first. Because you will get to the heart of the matter. You will gain trust over time.  It also helps if you are passionate about those ideas as well.

So what do you do with the other ideas?

Group them. That is it. If they have a similar theme group them for use later. It can be a series of episodes. It can be a talking point on your podcast. Even the ideas you’re going to start with group them. Then turn them into podcast episodes. So spend some time to group the ideas and plan out your shows.

But don’t forget the most important thing, record it, and publish it.

How to package your podcast for distribution

You’ve got the intro and outro recorded. You have edited down your interview. Now it’s time to put everything together into a podcast episode for distribution. 

If your editing software has a multitrack section then you’re good to go. This is where you will do all the work to make your show interesting. 

Step 1 Add music beds under different sections 

Music makes a difference for a podcast. From the introduction, breaks between sections and at the end. It sets the mode for what is about to come. 

What you do is play a couple of seconds of the instrumental then fade it under the voice over. You can fade it out after a while or up when you’re finished with that section. 

NPR’s How I built this podcast uses this production element to great effect. To add drama to the stories being shared, they use various sounds and instrumentals while the story is being shared. It makes the podcast interesting and fun to listen to and move the episode along quite nicely. 

If you want to add drama to your podcast episodes, then use music and sound effects throughout your show.

Step 2 insert sponsored messages

The next part of the production process is adding sponsored messages. These are 30 – 45 seconds ads from a business who sponsor your show. When packaging the show, you can insert these messages if you have recorded them from before.  This will save time as you can add them in later.

Step 3 Keep final levels consistent

It is also important to keep your levels consistent. Meaning that the sponsored messages, the interviews and the music is on the same level. This helps the listening experience. 

Check the volume on each channel to manage your levels. You can use a compressor / a limiter on the master channel to keep things consistent when you’re ready to export the final episode. 

The last thing to do is export your show for distribution. If your editing software allows you to insert the episode title and other information, do so during that time. This will ensure when the episode is being played people see what they are listening to, and what the show is all about.

How to edit a podcast episode after recording

After you’ve recorded your episode chances are you didn’t get it perfect. No worries because the show I pre-recorded and you’ll be able to tweak it before sending out. That’s where editing comes into play. This process is not hard but takes some time to complete. Here’s a four-step process you can use today to edit your podcast.

Step 1: Cut what you don’t want

The main part of editing is cutting what you don’t want. This includes taking out double-takes, umms and extra space in the interview. Take the time to go through your episode and take out what you don’t want to keep.

you can do this is by highlighting the sections of the audio you don’t want, and delete it. The aim is to ensure your conversation runs smooth and natural. 

After you make your cuts you can insert a couple of seconds of space for your music bed, and sponsored messages. This is the final part of this process. 

Step 2: Level the volume of the interview

Getting the conversation on one consistent level is the next part of the process. You can achieve this using a compressor or limiter. Open the compressor in your editing programme, Set the attack to 0 and the release to about 100. Set the ratio at 10:1. After that set the threshold to the average level of your interview. What you’ve just done is to use the compressor to make your interview consistent. 

Step 3: remove noise if it’s there

Noise reduction is the last part of the process. This is pretty simple. Select a portion of the noise you want to remove. Open the noise reduction plugin in your editing software and select capture noise profile. Then deselect the audio and reopen the noise reduction plugin. Make adjustments to remove the noise to taste. Your aim is not to remove everything but to turn it down to a level where it is not noticeable. 

Step 4: Save and export you show

Once you are finished editing save your edit. You don’t want to lose all that work you just did. Also, this is a good time to add your intro and outro music for your podcast. Once you’re done, export your final episode.  Label your file properly and you’re done. 

Pat yourself on the back you’ve just edited your podcast episode.

3 mistakes freshman podcasters make when editing

Podcasting is seeing a boom right now, and more persons are starting to create their own shows, but with all the excitement people rush into doing it and end up compromising the quality of their show, as a result of faulty editing techniques. This makes the experience less than ideal for the listener. Here are 3 mistakes freshman podcasters make when editing.

#1 The volume of the interview and music bed does not match

This is the first noticeable and common mistake. You start listening to a show, loving the intro music then the introduction comes in and you realize the volume to be way quieter than the music. Sometimes the difference in volume is so great it makes it hard to listen to the show without turning up the volume of your device. 

A quick fix for this is turning down the volume of the mic to match the interview. This is easy to do, just turn down the volume knob in your editor for the music track. Use your ears to match the volume. you know if it’s good enough is when the volume of the music and the interview does not drown each other out. Also, when the fade comes in it does not hide the words of your introduction.

#2 The interview is too quiet.

The other mistake noticed is that the actual interview is too quiet. I was listening to a podcast once and when the episode started I had to turn up the volume in my car to its maximum to hear what the person was saying. The information was good, it’s just that I had to strain my ears to listen. 

A quick fix for that is using the amp tool in your editor to increase the volume of your podcast episode. You can also use a compressor or a limiter to achieve the same result. This will help you to make the volume of the podcast consistent.

#3 leaving dead space inside the interview 

The last mistake I notice is persons leaving dead space inside the interview. An example of this is the guest might be explaining something then pause for a bit before finishing a thought. Some podcasters leave that in not knowing it can be taken out. You will be listening to the show and perhaps think it has ended, not knowing there’s dead space in the audio. 

To correct this problem you can just highlight the space in your editor and press the delete key. This will get rid of the empty space. While you are doing that, go through the interview and clean up space and make the conversation tighter.

You can also use this time to take out any “umms” and “ahhs” that you or the guest makes while talking. This will clean up the interview quite nicely and increase the quality of the show.

Conclusion

Fixing these 3 mistakes will increase the overall quality of your podcast. It will also improve the experience of your listeners.

How teachers can use podcasting to enhance the learning experience

The internet has changed the way people learn. It has provided multiple options and sources for students to find information. Youtube, blogs and podcast have added a new dynamic to the learning experience. But the question is how can educators use these tools to their advantage?

Imagine having a healthy discussion with a group of students around a topic. Some of them bring up points from your podcast or even ask other questions for clarification following an interview you did. That’s what a podcast can do.

Create a Study Resources

Young people live on their mobile phones, so why not create resources for them to use while they are preparing for exams. The beauty of a podcast is that instead of them listening to music, they can playback a lesson for further clarity on a topic. This is a neat idea to have notes in audio form catering to the learner who likes to listen

The other way to utilize a podcast is to add extra material not covered in class. This can be new analogies and examples to further explain your point. These extra examples can make a big difference to students retaining the material.

Expose them to real-world applications

Another way a podcast can help teachers is to talk about real-world applications of a subject. This can be interviewing industry practitioners and subject matter experts about current trends in the industry.

What this does is get persons to buy into the topic by seeing the relevance of what you are talking about. For example, a subject like English, talking to leaders about knowing how to communicate using the written word. This can help students see the relevance of the subject and learn to appreciate it.

Change the teaching style

Finally, changing your approach in your podcast can be a testing ground for new ideas. Maybe a more fun approach can be a way to get listeners drawn to your unique style. Maybe a more practical how-to-style or teach through stories. The possibilities are endless.

The aim is to experiment with different ideas. Finding what your students will respond to and get them drawn into your subject area. Podcasts can add that experience and offer a way to engage with students in a new way.

Understanding how each social media platform works

One of the things that can cause paralysis when using social media for marketing is not knowing how it works. You might have lots of ideas and you may even post a few stuff but, are you really using it effectively? Do you know all the things you can do on a particular platform?

Social media platforms cover 4 areas, video, audio, text and images. However, each platform has different implementations of this and knowing these can help you in your content creation.

Newsfeed post criteria

Every platform has a newsfeed.  You can see people you follow and those who follow you can see your updates. 

On Twitter, there’s a combination of written word, images and video. However, each of these has a limit. Images must be a certain size, a video has to be a 2 minute and 20 seconds, and also the 240 character limit. 

You can use this information for your advantage in your content creation. You can craft your message to fit that limitation. It will also make your story powerful and consumable by your customers. 

Radio & TV ads are 30 seconds to a minute. Companies had to tell their stories with that limitation for that platform to work for them.  Same applies online.

Stories 

Not all social media platforms have this feature, but it’s still a useful tool. You’re able to share ongoing progress of what you are working on throughout the day. It goes away in 24 hours. You can use stories to test ideas out before committing to a post on your newsfeed. You can also create specifically for that. Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, youtube, Snapchat all have the stories feature.  You can use it to good effect. 

The interesting thing about stories is that people check it very often. Sometimes multiple times for the day. This is interesting because you can use stories to drive traffic to content in your feed. Instagram as a swipe up feature where you can post to stories and persons can swipe up to learn more. 

Direct Message

Direct messages are also a great way to interact online. If a customer asks a question on your newsfeed you can either reach out publicly or send a private message offering more help.

In the book fill your funnel by Tom Hopkins and Dan Portik says asking instead of telling is the most critical concept to grasp in selling. The person who is asking the questions controls the direction of the conversation. This further demonstrates that you can use direct messages to ask questions and further et up to speed with social media tools for good effect. 

Search function

Search is the perfect way to find conversations online. You can search hashtags, keywords and see what your potential customers are saying or talking about. This will allow you to answer questions and meet new people who might be interested in what you do.

Like, reply with a comment or reshare

All platforms allow you to interact with other content. If you see something you like, press the like button, reshare it if you find it interesting or leave a comment so that the person can see your thoughts. This is a great way to interact with the community and meet new people and potential customers.

How to define your target customers for your business

Clearly defining who the customers you want to attract to your business will set up your marketing for success. Not doing it will cost you lots of money, time and frustration. Gary Halber in his book the Baron letter says the fastest way to grow a business is finding a starving crowd. That’s the aim of this article, to show you how you can clearly define your starving crowd. The people who would respond to your offer. 

Who are your best clients/customers?

If you already operate a business who is the best type of client you have worked with. The ones that you don’t have to worry about, don’t question the quality of your work. Or don’t complain about everything. 

For me as an audio engineer and producer, I was recording artistes that had a job and clearly knew how they wanted their music to sound.  These artists pay on time, focus only on the music and are well prepared when they come to work with me. The rest are always trouble. They complain a lot and always have a story about why they forget to pay you. This is worst when you send tracks for feedback, they never respond. 

Perry Marshall in his book 80/20 Sales and marketing says 20 per cent of your clients bring in 80 per cent of revenue. The other 80 per cent cause you most of the problems. Get rid of the ones that cause you to stress, and target the ones that bring in revenue. 

To do that, pay attention to their profile, their interest and other things that can help you find them online as well as ou may learn more about your ideal customers.

What if you’re just starting out and have no paying customers?

The best thing to do is to assume and picture who you would like to work with and who would respond to your marketing message. This is simple if you examine the problem your product/service solves and flip it. 

I help persons with __________ solve _________________. Anyone with that problem would be your ideal customer. You can also narrow down that statement further as well. Here are a few questions to think about:

  1. Where are your customers located?
  2. What interests do they have?
  3. What is their gender male/female?
  4. What is their income level?
  5. What problems do they have that your business solve?

These 5 questions can go a far way in helping you find the ideal customers for your business.