What We’ve Learned From Our Client: The Productivity Show

By | Case Studies, Ongoing Case Studies, Podcast Editor | One Comment

The Productivity ShowOne of the wonderful things about editing podcast episodes all week is that you are always learning. I knew close to nothing about the Managed Futures industry before I started editing Top Traders Unplugged every week. Likewise, the productivity community was a mystery to me until I started working with our client Asian Efficiency on their podcast, aptly titled The Productivity Show.

The good folks at Asian Efficiency recently spent more than six thousand words in a blog post detailing how they launched their podcast, created a workflow to produce it each week, and then outsourced the whole thing to us. They said a number of very kind things about us in the article, so you should go read it. We are so lucky to work with amazing clients like them!

I thought I would return the favor by detailing just a few of the things I have learned from The Productivity Show since I started editing it on a weekly basis about a year ago. Listening to this show has helped me set and track goals in my personal life, develop healthy rituals and habits, and become more productive and efficient in my professional work. Here’s a list, in no particular order of importance, of things I’ve picked up from editing The Productivity Show:

Habits:

  • Journaling

I’m in a process of figuring out what works for me with many of the productivity concepts I’ve picked up from this podcast, especially when it comes to journaling.  Many guests on The Productivity Show recommend the writing practice detailed in The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. This practice involves writing three pages of hand-written, free-form content, ideally before you do anything else in the morning. I tried this practice for a while – it turned into a combination of a journal detailing what I did the previous day and a brain dump of all the ideas swimming in my head. I really enjoyed this practice but haven’t been able to keep it up consistently.

For a more technology-driven practice, a few guests of the podcast suggested the Day One app. The app makes it easy to journal on the go, especially if you take pictures with your phone and want to add some words to remember the moment. It also has a handy feature that reminds you to journal every day.

  • Meditation

Almost all of the guests on The Productivity Show have previously tried or currently have some sort of meditation/prayer practice. Frequently recommended apps to help with meditation include Headspace and Calm. The Asian Efficiency team blogs about the benefits of having a morning and evening ritual/routine, which might include meditation, writing, goal setting, etc. I’ve done a few 5-minute meditation sessions with the Calm app, and I also frequently do a 5-minute Qigong exercise called “Holding and Pooling” that was taught to me by a friend. The one that has really stuck is a simple gratitude practice: I do a Child’s Pose on my floor and think about people and things I’m grateful for. I do this before bed almost every night (Annie can attest).

An easy way to get started with this kind of practice is to spend time every night thinking about 3 Good Things that you experienced that day. Write them down in a journal, and review the journal every once in a while.

  • Goal Setting/Task Management

Everyone has their favorite To-Do list app or system, so I’m not going to list them all here. Needless to say the guests on The Productivity Show have dozens of different ways of tracking their goals, projects, and daily tasks. Before I started editing this show, I kept a To-Do list for my weekly and daily tasks, but I didn’t really have a way of thinking about or writing down my larger goals.

This changed once I edited Episode 65 (Create Your Manifesto) and Episode 58, an interview with David Allen. David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) method is legendary in the productivity community, and I now use a personalized form of it in the way I organize my tasks and set goals.

Apps:

There have been hundreds of apps recommended by guests of The Productivity Show over the 90+ episodes that have been released. Here’s a few I heard about while editing the show that have really helped my productivity:

TextExpander has literally changed my professional life. In the podcast editing business, I used to spend a lot of time copying and pasting, especially when it came to blog posts and meta data. Now, I’ve created special text snippets for all of my clients and can easily add blog post templates, meta data, amazon affiliate URL tags, and more with a few shortcuts. I’ve even created snippets for emails that I tend to send over and over again.

Freedom.to is a great website-blocking app. For someone like me who has a propensity for going to YouTube to watch one video and coming to my senses an hour later, this app is one of the many apps out there that helps you focus by blocking your access to websites that waste your time. The thing I really like about Freedom.to is that you can schedule sessions, and that it works across devices. This means if I set it to block me from accessing Twitter, it won’t let me browse Twitter on my laptop and the Twitter app on my phone won’t refresh. Currently I run a scheduled session every weekday that blocks me from websites like YouTube and Facebook from 8am to 12pm.

I used Sunrise for the longest time, but after finding out they would be shutting down this year I moved over to Fantastical since it was recommended by many Productivity Show guests. It’s a calendar app for Mac desktop and iOS. The two things I like best about it are its ability to show scheduled reminders from the Mac OS Reminders app, as well as interpret your text when you are creating a new event. For instance, you can type “Meet Dave for coffee at 8am on Friday” and it will create an event called Meet Dave for Coffee on the right day and time.

Assistant.to is a really simple app that I use to schedule phone and Skype calls with prospective podcast clients, and it works inside of Gmail. To use it, you pick a few time slots when you have availability, and send the email. The recipient then clicks on a time slot and the app puts a calendar event in your Google Calendar for you. It cuts out a lot of back-and-forth emails.

I found out about LastPass when I started working with the Asian Efficiency team. This app remembers username and password data for you, and suggests strong passwords when you are creating them. You access everything through one master password so you don’t have to remember or copy-and-paste passwords that you’ve saved in LastPass. This is super helpful for someone like me who works with many clients (in a typical week I login to Libsyn.com under seven different usernames). You can also share login data with other LastPass users, without showing them what the password actually is.

Conclusion:

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this article, good job! I hope you’ve picked up something you can use in your professional or personal life that will make you more productive, or at least happier. The Productivity Show has helped me tremendously, and I think you should subscribe to it if you haven’t already.

A Discussion on Podcast Editing and Podcast Production Services

By | Discussing Podcasting, How Podcasting Works, Podcasting Questions | No Comments

Podcast Production Services

The first time I edited a podcast was in 2011. I had no idea at the time what amazing things would happen as a result of developing that skill.

For the past five years, Freedom Podcasting Company LLC has grown from a laptop experiment to a multi-national company. It’s been an amazing ride. We’ve never slowed down in offering world-class podcast production services to the people who trust us enough to turn their recordings into valuable web properties.

I was invited to speak to a group of young entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the discussion, I tell the story of the founding of the company for the first few minutes. Then I speak about podcasting strategy and how to clarify the vision for the show before starting. We even discuss some of the technical specifics of getting your recordings onto iTunes.

The goal was to offer as much value to young entrepreneurs exploring the idea of using a podcast to grow their businesses.

Travel Topics:

  • The story behind creating the Freedom Podcasting Company LLC [0:00]
  • How to promote and grow podcasts [4:30]
  • An overview of podcasting platforms [7:44]
  • How podcasting works the way we do it [9:20]
  • Ian’s thinking on transcription services [11:40]
  • How to approach someone you want to be a guest of the show [13:25]
  • Strategies for identifying if you should have transcriptions with your podcast [16:44]
  • About Libsyn as a media hosting and RSS podcast tool [17:30]
  • Using webinars to create podcasts and if YouTube is important [19:55]
  • What we do at Freedom Podcasting Company [23:25]
  • On the most creative formats in podcasting and the absolute beginners production process [24:30]
  • Using podcasting to enhance the story your business tells [29:20]
  • On the publishing frequency of podcasting [29:59]
  • Tips on growing your podcast’s audience [30:40]
  • On video podcasting, blab and periscope [32:15]
  • The demographics of podcast listeners [36:25]

Podcast Production Services and Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Podcast Production Service Questions?

Please let me know if you have any questions or follow up information in the comments below.

 

iTunes New and Noteworthy Podcast Category – A RETORT

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Most of the silly things written on the internet are best left ignored. This one had to be addressed… let me explain:

Business owners call me to talk about risks and rewards of podcasting as a way to grow their businesses. This often leads to conversations regarding the importance of a powerful launch. I always say something like, “we want to drive traffic to iTunes in order to rank on the New and Noteworthy (N&N) podcast section early.”

So when a leading podcast blogger writes:

“Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system.” – Daniel J. Lewis

Semantically, this statement might be accurate. The N&N doesn’t have the numerical rankings that the ‘Top Podcasts’ list has.

However, if you’re trying to grow a podcast audience, this statement is misleading. Let me explain how it works:

How the New and Noteworthy Podcast List Works in Relation to Getting on the Front Page of iTunes:

This is how New and Noteworthy Section of iTunes works

 

Perhaps there is no specific ranking, but the first show is listed above the second. The second show is listed above the third. This pattern continues until you get to the end of the list.

The shows that aren’t on this list, aren’t on the list. That matters.

How The Front Page of iTunes Works

If we can get shows listed in one of the top 32 positions in the New and Noteworthy list then we’re on the front page of the iTunes store.

If we can get a show in one of the top 16 positions, we are ‘above the fold’ on the iTunes store. ‘Above the fold’ means that our show art will be the first to display for everyone in the country.

I’m confident that that is a big deal.

Semantics and Strategy in Podcasting

Perhaps the first sentence of this blog post should read: “Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system. The marketeers shouldn’t say ‘ranks #1.

They should say, “topping the iTunes New and Noteworthy list.”

Topping the list vs. ranking #1. It’s a matter of semantics.

Getting to the top matters.

Will Google Play Podcast Player Kill the Radio?

By | Discussing Podcasting, Podcasting World | No Comments

Future of the Google Play Podcast Player

Quality is not the chain restraining podcasts from killing radio.

Podcast listeners know the experience of listening to podcasts are better than listening to radio. Let me provide some examples:

  • Want to hear the mentality of the world’s top computer generated trading companies? Top Traders Unplugged is way better than listening to traditional financial radio.
  • Want to hear detailed habits of the world’s top performers? The Tim Ferriss Show doesn’t even have a radio equivalent.
  • Are you a woman seeking to grow a million dollar business? Ali Brown is the best.
  • Are you seeking spiritual guidance? Mas Sajady helps millions with conversations and free meditations.
  • Want to learn about emotional intelligence? Mark Shapiro is your man.

We can listen whenever we want and the advertisements are vetted by the producer or non-existent.

It’s just so much better.

Google Play Podcast Player Success

So why isn’t podcasting the #1 audio format in the world?

The reason is that it’s challenging to listen to podcasts.

It’s not super challenging, but compared to radio, it’s challenging.

Radio is winning because:

  1. There is no need to curate – Radio stations curate what we hear so we don’t have to think about it.
  2. Simple interface – Radios are simple. Click the button on and select between 88.7 – 105.9
  3. It is an established medium – Radio is older than you. It is really important because of that.

The biggest thing holding back podcasts right now is that they are hard to listen to.

iTunes isn’t great

iTunes is the #1 place to download podcasts.

iTunes is a pain.

Let me explain.

Problems with iTunes:

  • To do anything, you have to login to the iTunes store – This has stopped me from setting people up to listen to podcasts over and over again.
  • iTunes password recovery is hard
  • The podcast app is confusing (have I downloaded this show or not? Why do I have 50 episodes of this show and I don’t have the show I want?)
  • The curation is up to you – They don’t help you find the right shows for what you want now

These problems aren’t insurmountable. They are simply a mild annoyance for tech people.

I find it hard to help my 50+ year old friends listen to podcasts. They don’t have their iTunes passwords so to download a podcast, we have to set up iTunes. We can’t just say, listen to this show. We have to say, download this app, verify email, search for the show, download the show and play the show.

If podcasting is to grow to market dominance, ease of consumption is the next big breakthrough.

google podcast player

Will Google Play Podcast Player Solve the Problem?

The short answer is no. They have been slow to launch, their plans seem real and podcasters are leaking information.

It’s easy to submit your podcast feed to Google play. I don’t know why we do this when we can’t listen to podcasts with their app.

As of now, the jury is out.

How Google Play Can Win

If Google can create a radio like listening experience, they will win.

If Google can suggest shows that people really want to listen to, they will win.

If Google can help podcasters gain more listeners, they will win.

But for now, iTunes is still the big guy in town.

Buy Podcast Production Services Online

By | Podcasting Questions

We offer a seamless, high quality process for you to buy podcast production services online.

Have you come the the conclusion that your sales funnel would thrive with the addition of a podcast? You also know that you don’t want to spend time or focus on building a team that could do the hard work for you?

Production Services Online Available - Buy Online Today

Fill Your Sales Funnel with a World Class Podcast

You want the best audio quality, great blogs and a supplement to your multimedia branding.

You’re established with a large audience. You know the open rates of your email list. It’s good, but you want to make it better and bigger. You have a few honest, high quality products on your site and your funnel is probably directing some fabulous new people through the sales process right now while you read this.

Building out a team that can engineer audio, write flawless content and export beautiful graphic art for your show takes time, skill, patience and money. Why reinvent the wheel?

Perhaps you’re brave enough to outsource the production team to leverage your time.

Buy Podcast Production Services Online

Freedom Podcasting Company LLC offers world class podcast production services.

Buy Podcast Production Services Online TODAY

We’ve launched more than 30 shows for clients across a variety of industries. You can see the kind of work we do by checking out a page on Tim’s site, Niels’s site, Ali’s site or Nick’s site. This is a shortened list because we make a LOT of podcasts.

We know exactly how to produce so you don’t need to worry about a thing. You can rest easy knowing you have the best podcast production team around. We can help you launch a new show (automatically ensuring we match your existing branding) or we can take over the production of your existing show.

The way we see it, the more you can focus entirely on making your recordings and crafting your art of the spoken word, the better chance you’ll have to do the work that matters. The first step to getting started on this journey is to buy podcast production services online.

When you’re ready to start, please feel free to tell us a bit about your project.

Podcast Statistics: How to Research and What They Mean

By | How Podcasting Works, Podcasting Questions | No Comments

This is an article about podcast statistics (stats). First, I’ll explain how to check your stats on the platforms we use. Second, I’ll go into detail about how it works and what it means.

How to Check Libsyn Podcast Statistics

How to Check Podcast Stats Libsyn

  • Click VIEW ALL STATS

View all Stats Podcast Libsyn

  • You’re in.

 

How to Check SoundCloud Podcast Statistics

  • Go to SoundCloud and login
  • Click the drop down menu and select the Stats tab

SoundCloud Podcasting Stats

  • You’re in.

 

How to Check Stitcher Podcast Statistics

How to Check Stitcher Podcast Statistics

  • You’re in.

 

What Podcasting Stats are Telling You

Download Stats are Binary

Most podcasts statistics record downloads. This means that a download counts as one. If a member of your audience downloads your show and never actually listened to it, their download is counted just the same as if they listened to it 100 times over.

Stitcher is Special, but it’s not as popular

Stitcher has more information. They can tell you about your audience listening time and completion rate. Libsyn and SoundCloud just count downloads so the information is less complete.

iTunes is the 80% of the Download Game

This is so consistent that it can be considered a law at the time of writing this (Jan 2016.) Almost 80% of a podcasts downloads will come from iTunes.

Are SoundCloud and Libsyn stats relates?

SoundCloud stats are separate from Libsyn stats. If you are seeking a total download number, you should add your SoundCloud stats to your Libsyn stats.

Finally, Be Wary of Statistics

Be careful with your time when viewing stats.

Your time is almost certainly better spent creating vs. contemplating stats.

Go into the stats dashboard with a purpose. Identify the info you seek. Close it down and get back to creating. It’s easy to burn time in that statistics tab.

It’s easy to burn time in that statistics tab.

 

Do You Have Questions on Podcasting Statistics?

Please feel ask in the comment below. We’re here to help and your comments are cherished.

 

Dynamic Levels are Great for Michael Jackson, not Podcasts

By | Build Your Own Podcast, Discussing Podcasting, How Podcasting Works, Podcasting Process | No Comments

Dynamic Levels

Listen to the dynamic levels in Michael’s song:

You hear how the volume and depth of the music rises and falls?

It helps his music seem deeper and richer. The dynamics lead to the emotional rapture of the song. It’s an important part of MJ’s success.

Dynamic Levels Don’t Work For Podcasting

Dynamic podcast levels are a pain for podcast listeners. With podcasts, the rapture is in the voice and the word selection.

If we try to add dynamic levels, we forget about the listener.

People listen to podcasts while they run or while they drive. Often, they are listening with headphones to drown out all the mad noise surrounding them.

If someone is listening to your podcast and the levels are low, they turn the volume up. A few moments later, the next voice jumps in at normal levels. Because the volume is way up, the normal level is a blast to the eardrums.

That sucks.

Also, low levels make it impossible to hear the podcast at times. If I’m running and listening to a podcast, I can’t have a show playing that I can’t hear.

Perhaps years of electric guitar and rifle shooting has caused me to be overly sensitive to this… but ear health is another blog post all together.

If the levels are so low that I’m having trouble hearing the show, I turn it off, delete the episode and unsubscribe to a show.

Not Good.

How Do I Make a Level Podcast?

To solve this use Levelator (http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator).

Just drop your podcast’s interview segment into the program as a .aiff or .wav file and use the output file to mix the podcast.

Creating a Great Podcast?

My podcast production course is here. You’ll find information on how to mix a levelated show, file organization, podcast website development and much more. It’s everything you need if you’re going at it alone, or with a kick ass team.

If you want to bring on an expert team, reach out to us here. If were a good fit, all you need to do is record and send the files. We can do it all for you.

 

Why Would a Small Company Utilize Podcast Services?

By | Discussing Podcasting, How Podcasting Works | No Comments

We’re going to keep this short.

Why would a small company podcast?

  • Authentic Customer Engagement – Leads are easier to convert to sales when customers are engaged. It’s easier to make a clear value proposition.
  • Establishing Authority – With a podcast, the company becomes the authority. Opportunities open up for authorities.
  • Networking – The show is a networking opportunity. With an interview show, it’s always good to ask the question, “do you know anyone else who might be a good fit for the show?” It’s an opportunity to open up those doors to serendipity.
  • Content Marketing/Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – A podcast makes producing quality content less time intensive. Business leaders should be leveraging their time. Business leaders shouldn’t be doing their copywriting, graphic design, SEO and all that other stuff. The best business leaders share their expertise and let the developers do the post production. Leave the web development to the podcast producer, they are the experts at that.

What types of businesses would benefit from podcast services?

Our small business clients include hedge funds, psychologists, tech companies, crowdfunding platforms and more.

I think any business could benefit from a great podcast. Even utility companies, plumbing contractors and restaurant managers.

What would you tell a small business that is considering using podcast services?

It’s all about identifying the goals of their businesses. Here are some goals followed by strategies:

  • Do they want a large audience to sell to? -> Have a podcast with stars or well-known industry experts.
  • Want your CEO to be in a position to land larger contracts and connect with the leaders in the industry? -> Have a podcast with the leaders of legacy companies in their space.
  • Do they want to tell the story of their community involvement to improve their public perception? -> Talk about the projects you’re working on or the charities your funding.

Different goals lead to different podcasts. Podcasting is medium that can be used in many different ways to achieve their goals.

How to Make A Podcast

By | How Podcasting Works, How to Make a Podcast, Podcast Editor, Podcast Equipment, Podcasting Process | 3 Comments

Want to Learn How to Make a Podcast?

We’ve created more than 500 podcast episodes for more than 20 individual shows over the past 2 years. Many episodes were downloaded more than 100,000 times. We’ve become experts at this. We’ve put it all together into a great process and are offering an overview here.

This blog post is a step-by-step list of what you need to do to make a podcast.

This is an overview and the specifics are left out in the interest of providing a quick overview. If you could use more specific instructions, I’ve created screencast video course which describes every step in a granular way. Anyone could make a world class podcast if they follow this course.

How to Make a Podcast

  1. Record: Create recordings with quality recording equipment.
  2. Mix: Mix the audio with music and level the recordings.
  3. Host: Upload your .mp3 to a hosting provider.
  4. Setup: Create a podcast RSS feed.
  5. Submit: Submit your podcast RSS feed to iTunes and other podcast platforms.

An Overview of How to Make a Podcast

How to Make a Podcast: Recording

To get a great recording, start with quality recording equipment. This is important. All good podcasts start with quality equipment.

You can get quality recording equipment for less than $350. Here are links to three simple pieces which you can order on Amazon and have in your possession in a day or two:

Mixer | Microphone | Pop Filter

If you want help in how to set up this gear and record your first show using Audacity, please enjoy this free video course.

I own this recording equipment. It works great in almost all environments. I don’t need to find a place with great acoustics in order to make great recordings. The microphone only picks up your voice so if a helicopter flys overhead, your recording won’t be ruined.

After experimenting with a lot of different microphones, I’ve found that this is the best system for the price. You could spend hundreds more on microphones, but the results aren’t going to be much different.

Mixing Audio - How to Make a Podcast

How to Make a Podcast: Mixing

Mixing audio is not overly challenging, but you do need a few tools.

After mixing hundreds of podcasts, we found that the following process is the best for ensuring consistent quality.

  1. Polish the audio with Audacity
  2. Run the polished .aiff files through Levelator
  3. Mix the audio and the music together with GarageBand
    1. Note: Export as a .mp3 at 64kbps
  4. Tag the show using ID3 Editor

Each of these steps will require a small amount of learning time. The programs are not overly challenging to understand. You can follow along with me step-by-step in the course to speed your learning curve, or just dive in and learn on your own.

Once you create your finalized podcast file, you’ll be ready to upload your file to hosting.

Uploading - How to Make a Podcast

How to Make a Podcast: Uploading

Uploading your media to trusted hosts is important. With a podcast, the volume of your data will quickly crash most servers. If you don’t use high-quality media hosting, there is a good chance that you won’t be able to serve your show.

Not serving shows means people will be clicking the download button, but the download will either require a huge amount of time, or it will fail. Your listeners will either not listen to the show, or just remember that your show takes too long to download and avoid it next time around.

Here are my recommended podcast hosting services:

After uploading your podcast .mp3 to media hosting, you’ll be given a media URL. Use the media URL to complete the next step in which you create your podcast RSS feed.

RSS Feed - How to Make a Podcast

How to Make a Podcast: Podcast RSS Feed Creation

To be exact, a podcast feed is just an RSS feed with audio media URLs written into the XML code.

If that doesn’t help, you’ll want to use a podcast RSS feed generation service. Here are a few options:

  1. SoundCloud
  2. Libsyn
  3. BluBrry WordPress plugin + a WordPress site

We personally like to create our RSS feeds using WordPress websites and the Blubrry plugin.

SoundCloud recently came out with what looks like a great system for creating podcast RSS feeds, but I still like to build everything. It worries me to build important assets on other companies websites. When you own the feed, you own the show.

Your podcast feed will look something like this:

http://www.freedompodcasting.com/podcast/feed

Once you have your podcast feed, you’re ready to submit the feed to podcasting platforms.

Podcast Submission Instructions - How to Make a Podcast

How to Make a Podcast: Submitting Your Feed

Most podcast platforms simply read podcast RSS feeds. This means that all you have to do to see your show on their platforms is let them know about your RSS feed.

You can find submission details which are consistently updated on our podcast submission page.

Once you submit your feed, you’re set. To produce more episodes. To add new episodes, just enter the new media URL to your RSS feed.

Boom.

Conclusion

These instructions are abbreviated in the hopes of making the process simple to understand. Sometimes an overview of the process helps when planning the next step.

If you need help from us, you’re welcome to reach out to us to hire us as your producers.

If you’re interested in doing the process yourself, here is a step-by-step course which you can follow along. This is a discounted link so make sure to buy from this page as this discount won’t be available if you go directly to another system.

It took us about 3 years to get these systems set up, but you could produce a professional podcast using instructions from this course. Either do it yourself or get a member of your team to run through it and they can develop a new skill.

Questions on How to Make a Podcast?

Anything unclear? Please feel free to ask down below. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

How to Share Podcast Files with your Podcast Producer

By | How Podcasting Works, Podcasting Process | No Comments

Share Podcast Files

 

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you our file structure and then walk you through the process of creating your first podcast with your Freedom Podcasting podcast producer.

 
DropBox is critical for this process. If you don’t have DropBox software installed on your computer, please let me know in the comments below. We can create a tutorial which explains how to operate DropBox with a simple web browser.

This process involves duplicating a MasterFile which will support you in avoiding mistakes or missed files. We also explain exactly how to create the show production notes as well. This will help if you would like to add a strange song or an interesting soundbite.

I’ve been working on the process of making this easy for clients for more than two years now. This is the most versatile yet simple system I could think of. It helps you share podcast files in a way that is quick and easy.