July 18, 2022

Listener Feedback, Sound Effects, and How to Level Up Your Sound Quality


In this episode, Benji and Ryan discuss: 

Podcast News:1 The Danger of Limited Listener Feedback (Sounds Profitable)

2 When in Doubt, Leave Out the Sound Effects (by Rob Rosenthal on transom.org)

3 Steady launches Spotify integration for members-only podcasts

Question:

How important is audio recording quality, really?What’s the easiest ways to improve audio quality?

Article Link Ryan mentioned

Mics Mentioned: 

Samson Q9u (USB mic)Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio InterfaceShure SM58 (XLR)Behringer XM8500 (XLR)

Software mentioned:ReaperGaragebandAudacityAdobe AuditionHindenburg

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:10.720 --> 00:00:16.039 Welcome into Mike Club. Everybody excited today to talk about news from around podcasting 2 00:00:16.359 --> 00:00:22.000 and give an answer to a question that I was asked to this week. 3 00:00:22.280 --> 00:00:26.480 And joining me today on Mike Club and Ryan Becker, producer here at sweet 4 00:00:26.480 --> 00:00:30.559 fish. Ryan, welcome back to the show. Thank you. It's good 5 00:00:30.600 --> 00:00:33.479 to be back. I'm glad I didn't scare everyone off last time. But 6 00:00:33.560 --> 00:00:38.320 to those of you who remain, let's let's get into this. That's right, 7 00:00:38.359 --> 00:00:41.880 let's get into this, okay. So let's chat news here. First, 8 00:00:42.240 --> 00:00:46.719 three stories that I read this week that I was paying attention to. 9 00:00:47.320 --> 00:00:52.799 The first one is from sounds profitable, and it's the danger of limited listener 10 00:00:52.840 --> 00:00:55.479 feedback. Now, I thought this was interesting for a couple of reasons. 11 00:00:55.520 --> 00:00:58.679 One, because on B. Two, B growth, our other podcast, 12 00:00:58.799 --> 00:01:03.000 internal podcast here at Swee Fish. We uh, we've talked about this quite 13 00:01:03.000 --> 00:01:07.799 a bit. We ran our own listener survey and it, it was wonderful, 14 00:01:07.920 --> 00:01:11.640 provided some good feedback. But I thought this article was interesting because, 15 00:01:11.719 --> 00:01:15.319 and I'll just quote here first before we go into discussion, but this is 16 00:01:15.359 --> 00:01:19.040 part of what the article was getting at. Even when your audience is growing, 17 00:01:19.480 --> 00:01:23.920 knowing the tastes of the people who aren't listening to you is crucial because 18 00:01:23.959 --> 00:01:29.000 at some point your audience either pauses or stops growing and you face a choice. 19 00:01:29.040 --> 00:01:33.040 Do I double down on what my existing audience wants, or do I 20 00:01:33.079 --> 00:01:38.280 test the tolerance of my current audience and people who aren't listening for something different 21 00:01:38.439 --> 00:01:42.640 on the menu? And I'll read one more piece for podcasters. The message 22 00:01:42.680 --> 00:01:46.519 here is simple. Pay attention to what your current audience is saying, but 23 00:01:46.680 --> 00:01:52.000 continue to find ways to solicit feedback from people who could be your audience, 24 00:01:52.280 --> 00:01:57.959 especially if your downloads have stopped growing or are declining. So I guess my 25 00:01:59.040 --> 00:02:02.159 first question I'd is that you Ryan, is just how and where could we 26 00:02:02.280 --> 00:02:09.639 gather info from those not currently in our audience, because it's a lot easier 27 00:02:09.680 --> 00:02:14.439 to go audience survey. You're already listening. What's your feedback? What do 28 00:02:14.479 --> 00:02:17.000 you like? What are you not but engaging people who aren't currently seems a 29 00:02:17.000 --> 00:02:25.199 bit harder. Yeah, absolutely, and I would say the other the other 30 00:02:25.240 --> 00:02:30.039 reality is listener feedback on its own is already hard. So when you talk 31 00:02:30.080 --> 00:02:31.879 about listen non listener feedback, that that can be even harder. But I 32 00:02:31.960 --> 00:02:35.599 don't I don't know of any company that at any point in time is not 33 00:02:35.680 --> 00:02:38.639 doing some form of market research, even if it's a market they're already working 34 00:02:38.680 --> 00:02:42.800 in or a market where they're already selling a product in, and podcasting is 35 00:02:42.800 --> 00:02:46.120 no different. I would say to great places that you can start with if 36 00:02:46.159 --> 00:02:50.680 you like. Just as a starting point, you can look at your apple 37 00:02:50.719 --> 00:02:53.800 podcast listener information or if you post your podcast to Youtube. This has been 38 00:02:53.800 --> 00:02:59.560 great for me because the Youtube has great analytics information. Um, look at 39 00:02:59.599 --> 00:03:04.039 where listeners are dropping off. So, for example, one thing that I 40 00:03:04.080 --> 00:03:08.360 tell podcasters is any plugs that you're going to make for the guest, like 41 00:03:08.560 --> 00:03:13.520 they have a new book coming out or whatever, do what late night talk 42 00:03:13.560 --> 00:03:16.400 show hosts do when you introduce the guest. Introduce what they're promoting as well 43 00:03:16.479 --> 00:03:21.759 at the beginning and repeated at the end, because most people will drop off 44 00:03:21.759 --> 00:03:24.919 once the content is over and most people never hear the plug. So look 45 00:03:24.919 --> 00:03:30.919 where people are dropping off in your and listening in your listenership on average and 46 00:03:30.759 --> 00:03:36.280 figure out why. So one podcast that I that I read about the other 47 00:03:36.360 --> 00:03:39.039 day saw that at eighteen minutes that was a major drop off point that most 48 00:03:39.280 --> 00:03:43.879 that not most, but on average eighteen minutes for their show was when listeners 49 00:03:43.919 --> 00:03:46.520 were clicking away, but he couldn't identify, he couldn't go back into his 50 00:03:46.520 --> 00:03:51.280 content and identify anything specific that was, you know, turning people off. 51 00:03:51.439 --> 00:03:53.560 And that's that's how you would analyze that, is go back into that point 52 00:03:53.560 --> 00:03:57.919 in your show and see what am I doing here? Well, because he 53 00:03:57.960 --> 00:04:00.680 couldn't identify it. What he did instead was focused on providing as much value 54 00:04:00.719 --> 00:04:04.800 in those first eighteen minutes as he could so that people would want to listen 55 00:04:04.960 --> 00:04:09.719 to the next eight team and even if people left, they still left better 56 00:04:09.759 --> 00:04:13.560 than they came because he he packed as much value into the beginning as he 57 00:04:13.599 --> 00:04:15.879 did to the end. So, though, that's like one way that you 58 00:04:15.920 --> 00:04:20.160 can actually figure out those currently not in your audience, because the people that 59 00:04:20.279 --> 00:04:25.439 drop off are not in your audience anymore. Um, but also any traditional 60 00:04:25.480 --> 00:04:28.439 forms of market research that you're already doing, things like answer the public, 61 00:04:28.519 --> 00:04:30.720 can be great for this. Find out what people are searching for what they're 62 00:04:30.759 --> 00:04:34.439 not searching for. H There are there are tools out there that can help 63 00:04:34.480 --> 00:04:39.240 you with this if you but you need to have an ideal listener persona or 64 00:04:39.240 --> 00:04:43.959 profile kind of created so that you can know who you're targeting and know who 65 00:04:44.040 --> 00:04:47.600 to look up. Yeah, I was really appreciative that they said like the 66 00:04:47.720 --> 00:04:53.319 messages, pay attention to what your current audience is saying, but continue to 67 00:04:53.360 --> 00:04:57.120 find ways to get feedback from people who could be in it right because the 68 00:04:57.560 --> 00:05:00.439 lack of focus kills a lot of podcasts where it's like you try to be 69 00:05:01.240 --> 00:05:05.600 all things. So I would say, man better to hyper niche for a 70 00:05:05.639 --> 00:05:12.160 long time and even wait until your podcast starts the plateau, because I just 71 00:05:12.399 --> 00:05:15.319 I see a lot of all over the map, uh too broad of podcasts 72 00:05:15.759 --> 00:05:23.959 ideas. So to me on this specifically, if if you're at that point 73 00:05:23.959 --> 00:05:29.199 where you're seeing some plateau and you're wanting that feedback, even asking people that 74 00:05:29.240 --> 00:05:32.639 are in the ideal industry that you know aren't listening and just getting their pain 75 00:05:32.720 --> 00:05:38.319 points and trying some topics out that are there their pain that you can speak 76 00:05:38.360 --> 00:05:44.240 into uniquely, still that you're then you're just creating content for them directly and 77 00:05:44.319 --> 00:05:46.480 you can even go back and send it to them and see if it was 78 00:05:46.519 --> 00:05:49.639 helpful and you iterate that way. It's just it's a test. So that's 79 00:05:49.680 --> 00:05:55.920 what's awesome about podcasting as well, is you you try something content wise and 80 00:05:56.000 --> 00:05:58.759 what resonates, you can go further down that road and what doesn't, you 81 00:05:58.839 --> 00:06:01.160 just okay, sweet at as we tested it, and and to me, 82 00:06:02.680 --> 00:06:08.079 you don't want to just have feedback from the choir. That's that's why I 83 00:06:08.160 --> 00:06:11.920 chose this story today, is because I see this a lot on linkedin. 84 00:06:12.319 --> 00:06:15.920 From a written content perspective, is like you are getting feedback from the same 85 00:06:15.920 --> 00:06:19.240 people that keep liking your posts, so you create more content for them, 86 00:06:19.759 --> 00:06:25.160 and now that audience never grows and you're always in danger of that. From 87 00:06:25.199 --> 00:06:30.040 a podcasting perspective, potentially as well, I think the other question that I 88 00:06:30.079 --> 00:06:33.480 have on this is like, okay, and it's not prescriptive, right, 89 00:06:33.519 --> 00:06:38.680 I don't go everyone should have the same cadence, but it made me think, 90 00:06:39.120 --> 00:06:43.519 how often should we be considering, like what people outside of our audience 91 00:06:43.639 --> 00:06:46.800 want? You don't want to always have your head up being like we could 92 00:06:46.839 --> 00:06:49.639 appeal to them and we could appeal to them. To me, because I'm 93 00:06:49.759 --> 00:06:56.720 naturally very a D D, I can't do that more than like once a 94 00:06:56.800 --> 00:07:00.759 quarter. That to me, four times a year where I'm thinking about how 95 00:07:00.759 --> 00:07:03.560 I'm going to change my content is plenty. Like let me deep dive, 96 00:07:03.920 --> 00:07:06.399 see what we could shift, see what we could change, see how we 97 00:07:06.439 --> 00:07:11.160 could add people, and then we'll iterate on that for the next, you 98 00:07:11.199 --> 00:07:15.279 know, three months or something, because if I do it more often than 99 00:07:15.319 --> 00:07:20.519 that, I'm always second guessing the content strategy we have right now. Yeah, 100 00:07:20.720 --> 00:07:25.319 that makes sense. I am sometimes driven in my own personal show on 101 00:07:25.399 --> 00:07:27.720 what I get bored with doing and then I want to change things up just 102 00:07:27.759 --> 00:07:29.600 because I'm bored. But that's not a good way to do it either. 103 00:07:29.680 --> 00:07:31.560 Necessarily, though, you do need to balance that with keeping it fun. 104 00:07:31.639 --> 00:07:35.399 But I do think this is a balancing act. But the one rule that 105 00:07:35.439 --> 00:07:41.759 I always follow is create content for those that are not yet in the room, 106 00:07:41.800 --> 00:07:45.560 but deliver a high quality experience that is exclusive to those in the room. 107 00:07:46.000 --> 00:07:48.199 Yeah, so, Um, I actually come from a church background. 108 00:07:48.240 --> 00:07:53.839 I was a pastor prior to Um, prior to being a podcast producer. 109 00:07:53.879 --> 00:07:56.360 I know anyone can reach out to me and ask me about that journey because 110 00:07:56.399 --> 00:08:00.399 it's a fun one. So the I'm not going to get spiritual to anyone, 111 00:08:00.480 --> 00:08:03.319 but the idea behind me doing a church service or planning a sermon, 112 00:08:03.360 --> 00:08:07.120 for example, every week, was I'm preaching for the people not yet in 113 00:08:07.160 --> 00:08:09.680 the room. The people already in the room likely already know a lot of 114 00:08:09.680 --> 00:08:13.600 what I'm saying. But if I only have one opportunity to grab a new 115 00:08:13.879 --> 00:08:16.199 attendee or a new visitor and grip them with what we're sharing, then I'm 116 00:08:16.199 --> 00:08:20.680 going to take advantage of that. And then it's everything else about church life 117 00:08:20.000 --> 00:08:24.600 that becomes exclusive to those in the room. Right it's everything else about the 118 00:08:24.600 --> 00:08:28.920 community, about the small groups, the outreach and community service. It's any 119 00:08:30.000 --> 00:08:33.799 of those other aspects of church life that become exclusive to those in the room. 120 00:08:33.840 --> 00:08:37.759 And so you're you're always ideating for the people that you want while also 121 00:08:37.840 --> 00:08:43.360 providing a high quality experience to those in the room. The other two things 122 00:08:43.360 --> 00:08:48.639 I would say here are you should always be personal and personal for and honor 123 00:08:48.679 --> 00:08:52.200 the audience you have, but you should also speak as though you already have 124 00:08:52.360 --> 00:08:54.879 the audience you want. So deliver the same experience for one that you would 125 00:08:54.919 --> 00:08:58.720 give for one hundred, one thousand or even one million listeners. Like the 126 00:08:58.759 --> 00:09:03.440 best concert experiences I ever had were not the big music festivals with huge crowds, 127 00:09:03.480 --> 00:09:07.240 over priced food and drinks and terrible body odor. They were the small 128 00:09:07.519 --> 00:09:11.879 bar shows with terrible body odor, that bands treated like a big music festival. 129 00:09:13.279 --> 00:09:15.919 Like that, when I felt like I was at a music festival but 130 00:09:15.960 --> 00:09:20.759 in a small room. Oh, incredible energy there, and those are unforgettable 131 00:09:20.759 --> 00:09:26.039 experiences. Yeah, well said. All Right, second story here. When 132 00:09:26.080 --> 00:09:30.799 in doubt, leave out the sound effects. So this is from transom dot 133 00:09:30.919 --> 00:09:37.879 org. Rob Rosenthal wrote this piece and I love audio storytelling. I even 134 00:09:37.919 --> 00:09:41.120 love those highly produced shows. So I'm not as opinionated as he was on 135 00:09:41.240 --> 00:09:46.200 this subject because he's very, very strong, very very strong. But I 136 00:09:46.240 --> 00:09:50.960 did agree with a specific piece that I wanted to point out, so I'll 137 00:09:50.000 --> 00:09:54.840 quote him frankly. Is what he says. Frankly, I don't understand why 138 00:09:54.840 --> 00:09:58.279 people want to add sound effects to their productions. How do they help if 139 00:09:58.320 --> 00:10:03.679 they're inten did to add a little sonic zing to something that seems lackluster. 140 00:10:05.120 --> 00:10:09.240 Don't use sound effects as a band aid to solve a problem. Right, 141 00:10:09.360 --> 00:10:13.039 better, choose better quotes, change up the pacing, do anything but add 142 00:10:13.080 --> 00:10:18.519 sound effects. Gong sound. Okay, I don't know that I'm all the 143 00:10:18.519 --> 00:10:22.559 way where he is. He does a great job of sharing his point of 144 00:10:22.639 --> 00:10:26.799 view in in this written content, but I do agree. There are times 145 00:10:26.799 --> 00:10:33.240 when the audio storytelling is less than excellent, and so they think if we 146 00:10:33.519 --> 00:10:37.200 up the audio quality by adding sound effects or something in the background, it's 147 00:10:37.200 --> 00:10:41.600 going to push people into the story, and that doesn't that. That is 148 00:10:41.639 --> 00:10:45.679 a band aid, that doesn't actually work. You should try to record a 149 00:10:45.720 --> 00:10:50.159 better story, you should practice better communication, and then that will up how 150 00:10:50.200 --> 00:10:56.000 people experience your content. So what? Let's go here. First, what's 151 00:10:56.000 --> 00:10:58.279 your thoughts on sound effects? Like do you like it in some podcasts? 152 00:11:00.600 --> 00:11:05.080 So the first thing, okay, here's my here's the hot take from me. 153 00:11:05.240 --> 00:11:09.639 Sound effects are are more likely to make good content worse than bad content 154 00:11:09.720 --> 00:11:15.039 better. That's the they will make. They will ruin good content. Before 155 00:11:15.559 --> 00:11:18.039 that being said, I think all of this has to be considered within the 156 00:11:18.080 --> 00:11:22.799 sonic branding or the audio branding of your show. Like what kind of actual 157 00:11:22.879 --> 00:11:26.279 audio experience would people describe when they listen to your show, or what experience 158 00:11:26.279 --> 00:11:28.759 do you want them to have? Like if your show serious and to the 159 00:11:28.759 --> 00:11:33.240 point, then sound effects won't fit, but if you're telling engaging narratives, 160 00:11:33.759 --> 00:11:37.720 then potentially they can actually help immerse listeners into the experience, and I think 161 00:11:37.799 --> 00:11:43.080 that's the line for me is immersion verse disruption. If the sound effect creates 162 00:11:43.080 --> 00:11:46.679 a sense of immersion, then it's worth it. So if I'm saying that 163 00:11:46.759 --> 00:11:50.039 someone, if I'm describing someone as something, I won't use a sound effect. 164 00:11:50.360 --> 00:11:54.399 But if I'm saying imagine, if I'm telling the listener, imagine you're 165 00:11:54.440 --> 00:11:58.200 in x scenario, you walk up to the counter and you can play some 166 00:11:58.279 --> 00:12:01.960 of like the crowd sound effect in the background or something, and really just 167 00:12:01.039 --> 00:12:05.559 help them be in that space. This is where audio dramas do really, 168 00:12:05.720 --> 00:12:11.120 really well, uh in in their sound production, and so think of it 169 00:12:11.200 --> 00:12:15.960 that way as you're trying to help your listener be immersed in the experience, 170 00:12:16.279 --> 00:12:18.679 which means that those sound effects also need to be really quiet and understated, 171 00:12:18.919 --> 00:12:26.639 not overpowering and demanding. So immersion versus disruption, and use them sparingly, 172 00:12:28.080 --> 00:12:31.360 like make sure that your listeners don't even remember the last time you've used one. 173 00:12:31.120 --> 00:12:35.279 Yeah, to me, it's that sparingly or like the variety that could 174 00:12:35.440 --> 00:12:39.799 create a level of excellence. So like, for instance, I love the 175 00:12:39.799 --> 00:12:43.039 back and forth of saying in this maybe in your podcast structure you're gonna go 176 00:12:43.080 --> 00:12:48.320 we're always going to share like a three to five minute form my club, 177 00:12:48.360 --> 00:12:52.120 like a business story, and in that context there might be some sound effects 178 00:12:52.159 --> 00:12:56.600 that fit. And you wrote a really well written script that the content level 179 00:12:56.639 --> 00:12:58.120 is going to be high, so you want to make the production high for 180 00:12:58.279 --> 00:13:01.600 that like five minutes, and so you go all in. But when you 181 00:13:01.679 --> 00:13:05.279 come out of that, you come back to a very human experience. It's 182 00:13:05.320 --> 00:13:09.120 back to like conversation or your point of view and you're behind the MIC and 183 00:13:09.159 --> 00:13:15.279 it's not sound effect heavy. So now you have this differentiation which is really 184 00:13:15.360 --> 00:13:20.080 nice for the listener because they're getting some both and which I think that creates 185 00:13:20.639 --> 00:13:24.759 really wonderful podcast experience. You don't have to go one place for the narrative 186 00:13:24.759 --> 00:13:28.200 and one place for the just chopping it up. It's like you could actually 187 00:13:28.200 --> 00:13:33.039 potentially do both if you really put some thought and effort behind it. And 188 00:13:33.080 --> 00:13:35.600 that's where I'm like, I'm definitely not fully out on sound effects. I 189 00:13:35.639 --> 00:13:39.200 just want to see someone do it in a in a way where it's what 190 00:13:39.240 --> 00:13:43.360 you're getting at, like it's adding value, and that does take a lot 191 00:13:43.399 --> 00:13:46.879 of time to perfect. Yes, I would even say like, if you're 192 00:13:46.919 --> 00:13:50.000 gonna do it script out, what where like the section where you're going to 193 00:13:50.120 --> 00:13:52.879 use them, because what you may find out is that when you visually see 194 00:13:52.879 --> 00:13:56.360 this on paper and you see all the places that you're going to add sound 195 00:13:56.360 --> 00:13:58.120 effects, you may realize like, Oh, this is way too much, 196 00:13:58.360 --> 00:14:03.279 like you usually need to see it too. But scripting it out and having 197 00:14:03.639 --> 00:14:07.200 the more pre planned that you can be and the more intentional you'll likely be 198 00:14:07.279 --> 00:14:11.399 in using those sound effects. Yep, just try. I mean like, 199 00:14:11.440 --> 00:14:13.919 if you want to go down this road, you're probably not gonna you're not 200 00:14:13.960 --> 00:14:18.240 going to perfect this on the first try, but you could try like a 201 00:14:18.279 --> 00:14:20.960 series of a few where you like podcasts, where you just highlight one story 202 00:14:22.000 --> 00:14:26.039 and you do it. That's where I see sound effects playing well, not 203 00:14:26.120 --> 00:14:30.879 so much in the like. This is especially to the audience we're talking to 204 00:14:30.960 --> 00:14:33.480 it. I don't think many of us are thinking about how often we want 205 00:14:33.480 --> 00:14:37.360 to use sound effects. So all right, but yes, back go read 206 00:14:37.399 --> 00:14:39.960 his piece because he's so opinionated on it. We'll have a link in the 207 00:14:39.960 --> 00:14:43.840 show notes and I I was grateful to him for just going all in on 208 00:14:43.960 --> 00:14:48.200 his point of view. Third Story here, and this is more of a 209 00:14:48.240 --> 00:14:52.000 press release news item, there is a company called steady and they launched a 210 00:14:52.159 --> 00:14:58.000 spotify integration for a member's only podcast. So what this means is, if 211 00:14:58.080 --> 00:15:03.840 you are a steady if you're part of the steady membership platform, it's going 212 00:15:03.879 --> 00:15:07.879 to help creators make a living from their work. The partnering with spotify essentially 213 00:15:07.919 --> 00:15:15.120 you could release content on spotify. That's only for the members that are subscribe 214 00:15:15.159 --> 00:15:18.799 to you. So they put it this way. They say steady is the 215 00:15:18.960 --> 00:15:22.600 simple membership system by creators for creators, run by a small team based in 216 00:15:22.639 --> 00:15:28.559 Berlin, helping hundreds of podcasters, journalists, artists and creators get financial support 217 00:15:28.559 --> 00:15:33.639 from their fans, and the idea is those fans get direct content for us. 218 00:15:35.200 --> 00:15:39.440 You may not be looking to monetize your podcast in this specific way or 219 00:15:39.440 --> 00:15:43.639 your content in this specific way, but my takeaway was, what are the 220 00:15:43.679 --> 00:15:48.840 ways that we are making that? It's what you were saying earlier. Ran 221 00:15:48.919 --> 00:15:52.600 like the for those in the room. How do you make the experience extra 222 00:15:52.679 --> 00:15:56.759 special, and when's the last time you thought about what could you add extra 223 00:15:56.840 --> 00:16:02.200 for the people that are consistently showing up? Yes, absolutely. So I 224 00:16:02.279 --> 00:16:04.159 like to think of this in two ways. I like to ask the question, 225 00:16:04.759 --> 00:16:07.519 what does my show do for listeners. What does it actually provide for 226 00:16:07.559 --> 00:16:11.759 them? And then how can I give them even more of that and how 227 00:16:11.799 --> 00:16:15.559 can I personalize that experience even more? Can you shout out paid supporters or 228 00:16:15.600 --> 00:16:19.120 reviewers? I used to shout out reviews all the time. Can You? 229 00:16:19.200 --> 00:16:22.720 If you have an email list and people join it, can you shout them 230 00:16:22.720 --> 00:16:26.519 out and say hey, thank you so much for joining Um Riverside, if 231 00:16:26.559 --> 00:16:30.399 you're using riverside, which is what we're using right now to record this, 232 00:16:30.200 --> 00:16:33.840 it actually has a live audience feature and it has a streaming feature to YouTube 233 00:16:33.879 --> 00:16:38.759 and facebook and other platforms. So you could also invite listeners into the interview 234 00:16:38.799 --> 00:16:41.639 and and engage in the chat and you can have your own team members on 235 00:16:41.720 --> 00:16:45.440 standby, you know, in the chat as well to engage and not, 236 00:16:45.799 --> 00:16:47.679 you know, if you only get one or two listeners that show up. 237 00:16:47.720 --> 00:16:51.320 Now you have team members that are also present. Um, you can add 238 00:16:51.320 --> 00:16:56.399 discounts and deals for podcast listeners that are only announced in episodes. They only 239 00:16:56.440 --> 00:17:00.200 exist within the episodes that you talk about them in. Right. These are 240 00:17:00.240 --> 00:17:03.319 these are things that can help your listeners feel special, feel like they have 241 00:17:03.319 --> 00:17:07.440 an inside track and honestly what they want when you've delivered something that resonates with 242 00:17:07.480 --> 00:17:11.359 them. They just want to connect with you. So what can you do 243 00:17:11.440 --> 00:17:15.680 to personally connect with them? One great one that I've done, this is 244 00:17:15.720 --> 00:17:19.279 the last one from me, is invite listeners to submit questions ahead of interviews 245 00:17:19.319 --> 00:17:22.640 and then credit them when you ask and also make sure to reach out to 246 00:17:22.640 --> 00:17:26.680 that listener personally and let them know you use their question. It's a great 247 00:17:26.680 --> 00:17:32.000 opportunity to connect individually with listeners and really make them feel valued by you and 248 00:17:32.039 --> 00:17:34.799 like you see them. So those are all things that are really simple, 249 00:17:36.200 --> 00:17:38.640 really easy to do. The live streaming one is a little bit more complex, 250 00:17:38.680 --> 00:17:41.599 but everything else is pretty easy. On that list and if you can 251 00:17:41.599 --> 00:17:45.640 answer those first two big questions, what do you do for listeners and how 252 00:17:45.680 --> 00:17:48.759 can you personalize it for them, then you'll be on the right track. 253 00:17:48.200 --> 00:17:52.480 One of the shows I've most admired for this is actually a comedy podcast called 254 00:17:52.480 --> 00:17:59.359 the Nateland podcast, and they did something that I think most podcasters would be 255 00:17:59.440 --> 00:18:03.720 very afraid of doing, where they kind of just chat. They catch you 256 00:18:03.799 --> 00:18:07.519 up at the first part, but the main first segment is they read listener 257 00:18:07.599 --> 00:18:11.640 comments and you would think, let's put this at the end, right, 258 00:18:11.680 --> 00:18:15.519 like let's get to the meat of the episode, the topic, but they 259 00:18:15.559 --> 00:18:19.039 spend a majority of the time, for like I'd say the first thirty minutes, 260 00:18:19.319 --> 00:18:25.519 just reading how people reacted to the last episode and having just talking and 261 00:18:25.799 --> 00:18:30.519 they're riffing their comedians right. So it fits that structure really well. That's 262 00:18:30.559 --> 00:18:33.279 become like my favorite part of the podcast and what it's doing is it's allowing 263 00:18:33.319 --> 00:18:38.319 you to have a voice into their show and tell them how you experienced the 264 00:18:38.400 --> 00:18:44.559 content, and it creates this cyclical feeling and experience that's you know that you 265 00:18:44.599 --> 00:18:49.799 can participate in their content and that there's going to be a conversation about previous 266 00:18:49.839 --> 00:18:56.240 episodes on the next one. So there's this like you find yourself gaining affinity 267 00:18:56.240 --> 00:18:59.839 towards these comedians because you're like, I'm kind of part of the show if 268 00:18:59.880 --> 00:19:03.799 I commenting writing in and people look forward to that now. But it was 269 00:19:03.839 --> 00:19:07.119 a risk because you would think people want the new stuff and they've figured out 270 00:19:07.119 --> 00:19:10.160 a way to flip that on its head. And so if you're you're if 271 00:19:10.160 --> 00:19:14.119 you're in business, even if it's just we create an email that people can 272 00:19:14.200 --> 00:19:18.359 submit their questions or you're taking them on Linkedin D M S or that it 273 00:19:18.440 --> 00:19:23.200 doesn't even. The back and forth is one beautiful piece of podcasting that I 274 00:19:23.279 --> 00:19:29.759 think we should lean into heavily and that creates that extra special feeling when you 275 00:19:29.799 --> 00:19:33.160 feel like it's you could even do special episodes where you're reacting to listener comments, 276 00:19:33.200 --> 00:19:36.759 where it's only for for listeners, even you don't have to make it 277 00:19:36.799 --> 00:19:38.799 a specific part of the show. Or I love the celebrities read me and 278 00:19:38.799 --> 00:19:41.720 tweets thing that like Jimmy Kimmel and other late night shows have done, and 279 00:19:41.720 --> 00:19:45.119 I think it'd be hilarious and a great running gag for a for a, 280 00:19:45.440 --> 00:19:49.079 for a funny or a lighter show to literally invite listeners to write hate mail 281 00:19:49.960 --> 00:19:52.359 and then read that Hate Mail on the show and like, if you have 282 00:19:52.400 --> 00:19:55.680 a co host, this will work better, but then react to it and 283 00:19:55.759 --> 00:19:57.680 respond and riff off of it. Like I think that'd be hilarious and I 284 00:19:59.000 --> 00:20:03.440 would love to see the creative things that listeners can write to intentionally say something 285 00:20:03.480 --> 00:20:07.519 mean about my show. I think that'd be hilarious. So, yeah, 286 00:20:07.759 --> 00:20:11.559 there's some amazing ways. I love that. I love that example. All 287 00:20:11.640 --> 00:20:15.559 right. So to take us home, we want to answer a question from 288 00:20:15.559 --> 00:20:22.279 our mic club community and I was talking to Lynda Malone on Linkedin this past 289 00:20:22.319 --> 00:20:25.440 week and the topic of audio quality came up. And Ryan, I'm really 290 00:20:25.440 --> 00:20:30.559 glad you're on this episode because I will say as someone who loves podcasting, 291 00:20:30.799 --> 00:20:37.720 I don't go way far down the like audio quality. I adman and don't 292 00:20:37.759 --> 00:20:41.240 live in that space. I'm not a producer like I'm by mind or trade. 293 00:20:41.599 --> 00:20:47.319 So but I do know the importance of it and I've seen the value 294 00:20:47.359 --> 00:20:51.960 on B two B growth of having someone who's really technical editing our shows and 295 00:20:52.000 --> 00:20:56.119 making us sound good. So here's my first question. I'll point, I'll 296 00:20:56.400 --> 00:21:03.200 give to you. How important is audio recording quality? And then I always 297 00:21:03.200 --> 00:21:07.680 add this really like how important is it really, because that's the constant conversation 298 00:21:07.759 --> 00:21:11.799 in podcasting, I feel like. So I'm blanking on exactly where I read 299 00:21:11.799 --> 00:21:14.960 this, but what I'll do, Benji has send you a link so you 300 00:21:14.960 --> 00:21:17.559 can put it in the show notes. But there was a study that showed 301 00:21:17.599 --> 00:21:21.880 about a third of podcast listeners actually turn away. This was a study done, 302 00:21:22.200 --> 00:21:25.000 or research done, and I think two thousand nineteen and at that time 303 00:21:25.039 --> 00:21:29.079 around a third of podcast listeners would cite bad audio quality as a reason they 304 00:21:29.079 --> 00:21:33.519 don't listen. So if you want to lose that audio, I mean it 305 00:21:33.640 --> 00:21:37.279 really, audio quality is the biggest to me. It's the easiest way to 306 00:21:37.319 --> 00:21:41.880 slap your listeners in the face because you're saying I care less about your experience 307 00:21:41.880 --> 00:21:45.519 than I do my bottom line, and so I'm going to cheap out on 308 00:21:45.559 --> 00:21:49.880 the on the equipment and the quality as much as possible. And it baffles 309 00:21:49.880 --> 00:21:53.400 me. I've been talking about this for on on linkedin myself for a few 310 00:21:53.480 --> 00:21:56.240 days now, because it's it's just been a soapbox for me. But like 311 00:21:59.160 --> 00:22:03.319 just having a pod cast is no longer a differentiator everyone. It's more accessible. 312 00:22:03.839 --> 00:22:07.240 What is it accessible? Yes, and what's what isn't accessible is a 313 00:22:07.319 --> 00:22:11.440 high quality podcast. That takes work and it's the people who do a high 314 00:22:11.519 --> 00:22:18.000 quality podcast from a content and quality perspective that then that becomes the differentiator. 315 00:22:18.279 --> 00:22:22.279 Then your podcast becomes the shiny new object that everyone wants to go and see 316 00:22:22.319 --> 00:22:26.200 and check out. So yeah, I believe it's absolutely worth investing in because 317 00:22:26.319 --> 00:22:30.279 and there is diminishing returns at some point. So, but the cool thing 318 00:22:30.279 --> 00:22:33.599 with audio quality is you don't have to spend a lot and it's kind of 319 00:22:33.640 --> 00:22:37.960 a one time investment. You don't if you're not traveling a lot with the 320 00:22:37.039 --> 00:22:41.440 gear, you're not going to break it and it's not, you know, 321 00:22:41.519 --> 00:22:45.960 unless you actually get what's the you know, with new updates or new technology, 322 00:22:47.000 --> 00:22:51.160 you get uh, you become obsolete because of USB ports or whatever, 323 00:22:51.599 --> 00:22:55.880 then yeah, that's different, but for the most part your microphone will last 324 00:22:55.880 --> 00:22:59.200 you for years and years. It's a one time investment that continues to pay 325 00:22:59.240 --> 00:23:03.079 off. Yeah, to me it's also, like, I'm glad you said 326 00:23:03.079 --> 00:23:07.720 that. At the end, people get overwhelmed by like they think they're gonna 327 00:23:07.720 --> 00:23:11.720 have to spend some crazy amount or they think that like, and we'll talk 328 00:23:11.759 --> 00:23:15.039 about editing software here in a second, but they imagine that the bar is 329 00:23:15.119 --> 00:23:19.680 like way, way high to get decent quality, and what I would advocate 330 00:23:19.720 --> 00:23:26.559 for is just start by saying I'm not going to have like below average audio 331 00:23:26.680 --> 00:23:30.799 quality. You can't start a podcast today in two and think you can get 332 00:23:30.839 --> 00:23:37.839 away with like your snowball Yetti, like that's that doesn't cut it. But 333 00:23:37.039 --> 00:23:41.599 you can, if you'll just go up to even fifty range for a mic, 334 00:23:42.119 --> 00:23:48.119 get good enough quality that you're in the game where I don't see thirty 335 00:23:48.640 --> 00:23:52.920 of your audience leaving because of audio quality. You can hide behind some really 336 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:56.480 simple things and then you can grow from there. You can outsource from there, 337 00:23:56.759 --> 00:24:00.079 you can get somebody who knows more about audio editing than you from there. 338 00:24:00.559 --> 00:24:06.480 So it's not we're not talking about the highest bar and the most expensive 339 00:24:06.559 --> 00:24:11.240 gear necessarily, because I also, I would be a proponent of, when 340 00:24:11.240 --> 00:24:15.599 I got into podcasting, being very frustrated by people who were very technical on 341 00:24:15.640 --> 00:24:19.599 the audio side, thinking that's all that mattered, but what they were talking 342 00:24:19.640 --> 00:24:23.319 about behind the microphone had a substance. I don't want to listen to a 343 00:24:23.359 --> 00:24:27.000 podcast where you sound good but you don't know what you're saying. So there's 344 00:24:27.000 --> 00:24:32.160 a balance in there to be had. Yes, absolutely. And the other 345 00:24:32.200 --> 00:24:36.359 reality is audio recording quality will also help build credibility. If you don't have 346 00:24:36.400 --> 00:24:40.880 an audience already or a following already, then the quality will help establish you 347 00:24:41.039 --> 00:24:45.240 as a serious content creator in any format. So yes, it absolutely helps 348 00:24:45.279 --> 00:24:51.680 with earning trust, building credibility and also providing just a great listening experience for 349 00:24:51.720 --> 00:24:55.960 people. Okay, so let's talk about this. What's the easiest ways for 350 00:24:56.000 --> 00:25:00.359 people to improve their audio quality and then just give us like a s offware 351 00:25:00.440 --> 00:25:03.319 rundown. If you were starting from scratch and you didn't know too much, 352 00:25:03.359 --> 00:25:07.400 like where would you begin in in from an editing perspective, because that could 353 00:25:07.480 --> 00:25:14.160 seem overwhelming. Yeah, absolutely so, Um, easiest place to begin is, 354 00:25:15.079 --> 00:25:17.480 if you want, I'll just give you a microphone suggestion. If you 355 00:25:17.480 --> 00:25:18.799 want to be really, really straightforard about this, I'll give you two, 356 00:25:19.039 --> 00:25:22.480 three microphone suggestions. You can go if you want a usb mic get a 357 00:25:22.599 --> 00:25:26.680 Samson q nine you. It's a hundred and twenty dollars, I think, 358 00:25:26.680 --> 00:25:30.319 on Amazon as of this morning. I happen to look at it. Um, 359 00:25:30.359 --> 00:25:33.799 that's a USB microphone. If you want to go with an xlr microphone, 360 00:25:33.880 --> 00:25:37.160 which is much better, you need an audio interface, which just think 361 00:25:37.200 --> 00:25:41.000 of that. XCELR is like the round cable that microphones plug into on stage. 362 00:25:41.599 --> 00:25:44.079 An audio interface. Just think of it as a USB converter for that 363 00:25:44.160 --> 00:25:48.240 kind of microphone. That's all it is. So the get a focus right 364 00:25:48.319 --> 00:25:53.440 scarlet solo for like a fifty dollars and you can get one of two microphones, 365 00:25:55.039 --> 00:25:57.519 the sure SM fifty eight. It's a hundred dollars. Industry Standard tested 366 00:25:57.519 --> 00:26:02.079 by driving rvs and Tor by is over it. It's the microphone that you 367 00:26:02.119 --> 00:26:07.440 think of when you picture a just regular microphone or a Benger. I think 368 00:26:07.480 --> 00:26:14.559 I think it's being er Xm xlr microphone, better quality than most USB microphones. 369 00:26:14.680 --> 00:26:17.039 You just need a wind phone cover and a couple other things. But 370 00:26:17.720 --> 00:26:19.960 you you make any you choose any of those options, you'll be better off 371 00:26:21.000 --> 00:26:25.440 than other podcasters that are just using a Yetti or something else. And if 372 00:26:25.440 --> 00:26:29.039 you have, even if you have an a t R, which is something 373 00:26:29.079 --> 00:26:33.400 that we standard uh will encourage people to use, I would say it's worth 374 00:26:33.400 --> 00:26:37.960 even upgrading a little bit more Um and then the other things to improvideo quality. 375 00:26:37.960 --> 00:26:40.960 If you don't want to invest anything, pick a room that's carpeted or 376 00:26:41.000 --> 00:26:44.880 put down a cheap rug, put some blankets on hard furniture or move a 377 00:26:44.960 --> 00:26:48.880 you know, a fabric foot on or some sort of fabric furniture in your 378 00:26:48.720 --> 00:26:53.880 in your house or in the room, and turn off your air conditioning when 379 00:26:53.920 --> 00:26:59.119 you record, you know, close any windows or curtains, because windows of 380 00:26:59.200 --> 00:27:02.880 the harshest elections for sound. If you don't believe me, go and say 381 00:27:02.920 --> 00:27:07.319 words while standing next to your window and you will immediately understand Um and then 382 00:27:07.319 --> 00:27:10.839 I can also give recommendations on actual audio treatment if people need it. But 383 00:27:11.279 --> 00:27:15.640 those are the easiest and immediate ways to improve your sound quality. For software, 384 00:27:15.039 --> 00:27:18.160 if you're on a Mac, just learn garage band. There's countless free 385 00:27:18.160 --> 00:27:23.039 tutorials on Youtube. I taught myself everything that I know about podcast audio editing 386 00:27:23.160 --> 00:27:26.400 and you can. It's out there. Um Garage Band is a great place 387 00:27:26.440 --> 00:27:30.000 to start. Audacity on windows. I don't love that software, but it's 388 00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:36.319 free. If you want to pay for something cheap. Um Reaper is sixty 389 00:27:36.359 --> 00:27:40.839 dollars for one license lifetime. That's it. Sixty dollars and comes with a 390 00:27:40.839 --> 00:27:44.000 lot of plug INS and it's a great software to use. And again there's 391 00:27:44.039 --> 00:27:49.200 tutorials all over youtube for these different softwares. I use adobe audition or Hindenburg 392 00:27:49.480 --> 00:27:53.359 as my two softwares of choice at this stage, but that would be where 393 00:27:53.359 --> 00:27:57.599 I would start and go from there. And you can create something amazing with 394 00:27:57.759 --> 00:28:02.880 just just knowing a little bit of Mike Etiquette. You know Mike Forty five 395 00:28:02.920 --> 00:28:06.279 degrees off, imagine a line pointing from the microphone to one of your ears. 396 00:28:06.680 --> 00:28:07.920 That's how it should be. In about a fifth length away from your 397 00:28:07.920 --> 00:28:14.720 face and initial investment in some equipment, you'll be good to go for a 398 00:28:14.799 --> 00:28:19.319 while. Yep, that's that's the thing. Like it's a one time basically 399 00:28:19.400 --> 00:28:22.519 what we're saying. It's like a one time set up and you watched the 400 00:28:22.640 --> 00:28:27.839 same youtube tutorial like for your first five edits and I promise you're going to 401 00:28:27.920 --> 00:28:32.759 see the quality go significantly up and it's worth your time. So thanks for 402 00:28:32.799 --> 00:28:37.240 breaking that down, Ryan. This has been a really informative episode. I 403 00:28:37.319 --> 00:28:40.680 really like some of what we were talking about, even in these stories that 404 00:28:40.720 --> 00:28:45.039 we're paying attention to. I'll link to all of the news in the show 405 00:28:45.079 --> 00:28:47.200 notes and we'll have links as well if you want to go pick up one 406 00:28:47.200 --> 00:28:49.759 of the microphones that was mentioned, uh. And if you have questions, 407 00:28:49.759 --> 00:28:56.240 feel free to reach out to Ryan or myself on Linkedin. We're over there 408 00:28:56.599 --> 00:29:00.480 and we're chatting about podcasting, I'm chatting about marketing and we'd love to talk 409 00:29:00.519 --> 00:29:04.960 to you. So thanks for listening to this episode of Mike Club. Ryan, 410 00:29:06.000 --> 00:29:10.160 thanks for being here. Great stuff and we'll be back next week with 411 00:29:10.160 --> 00:29:15.640 with another show for you. H