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EXECUTION Creating, Launching, And Growing A Podcast From Scratch In 2021

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Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
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My goal in this thread is to share my journey of creating a podcast and growing it from scratch. Hopefully, some of you can find value in it. My own selfish reasons for doing this is that I know constructive feedback, suggestions, and questions will help me improve.

Starting from scratch
  • I have never started or run a podcast. I don't have any real speaking experience, and I don't have a large social media following. So this will be relatable for everyone out there who wants to know what it's like to start this from zero

Chapter 1 - Background

The Idea/Concept


I grew up in a strict and protective Catholic household. I was homeschooled because even private school had girls and my mom considered it bad for me to even be near them in middle school. Essentially, I constantly felt held back and restricted. I wasn't allowed to do anything my friends were that I played sports with.​
This caused me to push back passive-aggressively and learn to question/doubt authority. I was never outspoken or openly rebellious, but I began to think that way and question things. Combine that with my natural propensity for logical thinking and curiosity and I became a free thinker at a young age.​
Because of this logical analysis of everything that was told to me, I despised doing or believing anything simply because "that's the way it is" or "because he or she said so". I wondered why I needed to take pre-calculus and take tests that were purely memorization when I could just look up the answer in the real world. Because of this questioning of the way things were, I then noticed that most people weren't living lives that I wanted.​
If what we're taught as a society growing up is then why are most people unhealthy, broke, and in crappy relationships? I realized there was a strong correlation between following society's mainstream advice and ending up like most people - living mediocre, average, uninspiring lives.​
I realized all of this subconsciously before I realized it consciously. I went through life into my early 20's questioning what was told to me, but I was never seeking out the solutions. It wasn't until I was until a couple of years after college that I started to get into reading and personal development. And I quickly noticed a common theme in everything I learned about success (in any area of life)​
I found that everyone who had any real success in any area of life, does things very different(and oftentimes the opposite) of the majority aka 'Most People'​
Hence the idea of 'Not Most People'. I won't get too much more into depth about it's full meaning here but that's how the concept came about. I think the actual words came to me a little over 2 years ago​


Picking Podcasting As The Platform

When I first came up with the idea 2 years ago, the only platform I had any success with was Instagram. So I started an Instagram profile and started posting content there. Nothing original, just reposts that fit the idea. However, I quickly realized that I couldn't share content with any real depth on Instagram and that it was hard to really build loyal followings on Instagram, which is fairly crowded now.​
Then I thought about YouTube, but at the time I was terrified of the thought of being on camera. I had always been terrified of public speaking and hated the sound of my own voice when it was played back to me. So I decided I was going to blog because I liked to write that was less intimidating.​
However, I never really followed through with that. Although that's still a big part of the Not Most People gameplan (more on that later)​
During all this time (over the last 2-3 years), I got more and more into listening to podcasts, but didn't seriously consider doing one myself.​
Then I joined the Arete Syndicate in July 2020 (Andy Frisella and Ed Mylett's group) and quickly saw that many of the members had their own podcasts. They almost all said that starting a podcast was one of the best things they ever did. It had led them all to increased influence, establishment as an authority figure, powerful connections/relationships, increased income, and a whole lot more. So that got me thinking.​
Then 2 of them asked me to be a guest on their podcasts as a guest. On the first one I was definitely a bit shaky/nervous and focused on marketing/eCommerce, so it didn't flow very well as it was kind of narrow. However, the next one I was on I hit total flow state and really, really enjoyed it. This was in around late November I think. It was after that episode that I decided I was going to create my own podcast.​

From there, it took me about 3.5 months from decision to launch. I'll begin detailing all of the steps and process of doing that in the next post (Chapter 2)
 

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Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
Chapter 2 - Getting The Right Audio Equipment and Software

So now that I had my concept formed and had decided on podcasting, I knew I need to get the obvious things done - the audio equipment, artwork, and the intro music. Other than that, I didn't really know anything else that I needed.

The Audio Equipment

So I started researching the best podcasting mics that weren't hundreds of dollars. My budget goal was to stay under $150 if possible. Since I didn't plan on doing a lot of in-person podcasts, that greatly cut down on potential costs because I only needed one mic setup and didn't need an audio hub/mixer for multiple tracks. Eventually, I'd like to expand to that, but I quickly realized that you don't need a lot of money to get started.

After checking out lots of blogs, I came across a podcast launch roadmap created by Zack Babcock , founder of Podcast Powertrain, which is an agency that provides podcasting services. It was a free lead magnet but super helpful for a newbie like me.

It recommended the ATR 2100x as a solid midlevel mic for around $100. It has USB and XLR outputs which makes it super easy to hook up to your computer, which is what I was planning on doing.

1c0bdfdd-4d03-422d-b1ec-eb18e5706122.__CR0,0,600,600_PT0_SX300_V1___.jpg
In addition to just the mic, I knew I needed a mic arm stand, which I got from Knox Gear for around 20 bucks. This allowed me to mount on my desk and move it around where I wanted it. I think all of these arms are pretty similar and hard to go wrong with.

71RH9qECu2L._AC_UL320_.jpg

Another key piece that is good to have but you could probably get away with not having in the beginning is a shock mount. A shock mount softens any accidental bumps during recording like when you might accidentally hit the desk or the mic with your hands. This was around $25 and I'm not totally sure if it has made a difference or not since I haven't tested without it. I figured it's better safe than sorry.

71WjLCrfDlL._AC_UL320_.jpg
The last semi-important piece of equipment was a pop filter. The pop filter is designed to soften any strong 'P' and 'B' sounds that might be picked up as a popping sound. It works similar to a windscreen and I got one from Knox Gear for about 12 bucks. This is the only part of the setup that I'm not really happy with. It's flimsy and doesn't really stay where I want it to most of the time. It has great reviews on Amazon, so maybe I just got a faulty one, but I don't really like it.

61U5CnJAvLL._AC_UL320_.jpg

Here is how the setup looks together
166439142_506397833689020_4755903424280942849_n.jpg166376088_778891382994499_1502482114427381407_n.jpg

So far it has worked well and the audio quality has been solid.

The Audio Software

Audio editing and recording is something I had zero experience in, so again I set out researching what works well, especially for newbies.

Almost all of the recommendations were to use Garage Band if you had a Mac. I have a Mac and it runs great, but it's older, so Garage band wouldn't work on it.

I was then stuck and not sure where to go but then I had a zoom call with a guy who did voiceover work and also had a couple of his own podcasts, and he recommended Reaper, which a pretty intense audio editing platform. I said that sounded cool and before I knew it, he had bought me a year of Reaper license as a gift without telling me, which was obviously super nice of him. It was about 60 dollars for the year.

So that's what I went with. There was definitely a learning curve and I only know how to use the very basics (maybe 1-2% of what it can actually do) but that's enough for me right now to get by.

So if I record a solo episode, I do it directly within Reaper. If I do an interview/guest episode, then I record it on zoom (2 separate audio tracks) and then upload it to Reaper to edit afterwards.

That's it for the equipment and software section. Next section I'll get into how I did my podcast artwork and intro. Stay tuned...
 

MTF

Never give up
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Looking forward to your updates, particularly your marketing strategies. My girlfriend has been working on her podcast since last year so it'll be helpful to see how you're growing yours from scratch. In her case, almost all traffic comes from the guests' networks.
 

Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
My girlfriend has been working on her podcast since last year so it'll be helpful to see how you're growing yours from scratch. In her case, almost all traffic comes from the guests' networks.
Are you referring to when they share snippets of the episode with their audience? Or she goes on their shows as a guest?
 

MTF

Never give up
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Are you referring to when they share snippets of the episode with their audience? Or she goes on their shows as a guest?

No I just mean she asks them to post a link to the episode on their social media, send out a newsletter and otherwise promote the interview to their followers, friends, family, etc.
 

Hadrian

Celtic Whispers
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I was thinking of making one a couple of years ago but decided against ...

Here's a colleciton of articles and resources I gathered.

It may prove super useful, or completely useless!

:peace:
 

Attachments

  • Notes and Articles.zip
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Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
No I just mean she asks them to post a link to the episode on their social media, send out a newsletter and otherwise promote the interview to their followers, friends, family, etc.
Gotcha. I've started to do a bit of that. Very new still obviously. Interested to hear her success with that. Many I've talked to who own podcasts say they've grown the most by going on other people's podcast. More on that later
 

Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
Chapter 3 - The Artwork and Intro Music

Beyond the audio equipment and software, the other obvious things I knew I needed were the artwork and a podcast intro.

The Artwork

At first, I thought was something I could do myself on Canva. I played around with it for about a week but didn't come up with anything I really loved. I'll show the original concept that I made (for contrast), which I now laugh at how bad it was. As you can see, it was heavily influenced by both UnScripted and Any Frisella's Real AF podcast.

My Original Concept:
With Bradley Roth (10).png

So then I decided it was time to get some help. I headed to Fiverr and looked at a bunch of people and then decided on a seller with the username conceptz_pro, who offered a podcast cover for 30 bucks at the basic level.

I described what I wanted and used all 3 revisions to arrive at the current artwork, which is:

Final Design (not by me):
3000x3000.jpg

However, for $50 more(80 total) I could upgrade to the premium package and get a full social media kit as well as the photoshop source file. I didn't want to at first, but realized it would make my life a whole lot easier not having to design separate cover photos for Facebook, YouTube, website, etc.

So glad I upgraded as they came out really cool. I've attached some of what he made for reference. Highly recommend having someone do that for you if possible.

My Story 2.png My Story.png. C2 (1).jpg

Mockup (1).jpg mockup 2.jpg

Facebook.png. Profile Circle.png

These have really come in hand and helped create a professional feel. Totally worth it for the price.


The Intro Voiceover/Music

For this one, I had no intention of trying to do it myself. I had no clue how to do any voiceovers, mixing/mastering, etc.

So again, I turned to trusty Fiverr. I went with a guy with the username michaelkussmann. He had some work I liked and a solid voice for the voiceover. Cost: $60

I wasn't sure exactly what vibe I wanted. I wanted upbeat but not over the top or too hardcore. I gave him a script and asked him to find some music. He came back with the perfect voiceover but the music was intense rock. Not what I wanted. So I decided to find some copyright-free music myself for him to use.

I headed to Nocopyrightsounds on YouTube/Spotify, which has tons of EDM-ish music that's royalty-free. I searched for a few hours but then found a song I really liked. I sent it to him and it came out pretty badass. (Audio file is attached)


In the next entry, I'll be covering how I recorded and edited the first episode
 

Attachments

  • LoweredMusicIntro3 Mixdown 2.mp3
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Last edited:

Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
Chapter 4 - Recording The First Episode

For my first episode, I really wanted to give an overview of how Not Most People came about, what it really means to be Not Most People, and the future vision.

Recording Episode 1

I knew this episode was going to be a solo episode, which both excited me and scared the crap out of me as I'd never done anything like this before.

The one benefit of solo episodes is that you can pre-plan a lot more of it. So I gave myself an in-depth list of bullet points to go off of in Evernote. I probably over-bulleted the first episode.

Then I opened up Reaper, hit record, and let it rip. Surprisingly, I almost felt like I hit flow state and the 18 minutes was over in an instant.

Because I felt like it went smoothly, I didn't even bother to edit it. I probably should have looking back as I didn't really have a lot of 'umms' or 'ahhs' or long pauses, but had a lot of 'right?' and 'you know?' in there.

Either way, got over the hump of that first one and learned where I can improve by listening back.

And after about 4 weeks since release, episode 1 has been my most-listened-to episode (I think just because it was first) with just over 100 downloads.


Next chapter I'll get into picking my podcast hosting service and uploading/publishing my first episode
 

Not Most People

"If everyone else is doing it, its probably wrong"
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2019
101
237
162
Scottsdale, AZ
Chapter 5 - Podcast Hosting, First Episodes, and Launch

Ok, I'm way behind on updates here, and launch it where things really got exciting, so I'll be playing some catch up over the next few exciting updates.

Podcast Hosting

Just like with a website, you need hosting for your podcast. Once again, I had no idea where to start so I began googling and asking around. Many people recommended Libsyn for it's analytics, but I found it didn't seem very user-friendly when I checked it out. Another popular one(perhaps the most popular) is anchor, which was just bought by Spotify. It's free, which is why many people start there, but is limited on features.

Then I came across buzzsprout, which looked super easy to use and was reasonably priced. I went with that and highly recommend it. They've been awesome. Super easy to use and full of features. I was also able to use an affiliate link to get a permanent discount on the monthly price. I don't want to share the link I used here, but if you'd like to send me a message I can help you get started.

They also give you solid analytics, tools for audiograms, and a basic one-page starter site (example) if you don't have a dedicated website for your podcast yet. They also make it super easy to get listed on all major streaming platforms.

I'm currently paying $18/month for up to 8 hours of uploads/month. They also have $12/month for 4 hours and up to 2 hours free each month, so you can test it out for free.

Audio Leveling

Another important aspect of your editing and sound quality is audio leveling. This makes sure that if it's a guest interview that the audio levels of both people talking are even and one is not louder than the other. It also cleans up uneven audio from moving towards or away from your mic. Super important.

Lots of people use auphonic for this, and that's what I started with. However, I found that buzzsprout has an add-on called Magic Mastering that automatically levels out the the audio when you upload it to buzzsprout, so you can skip the extra step of uploading it to auphonic, downloading the new mp3, and then uploading the new mp3 to buzzsprout - making the Magic Mastering super convenient. I'm paying $9/monthfor it right now. Totally worth it.


First Podcast Guest (March 15)

It's important to be strategic about your early guests, as your first impression is hugely important with your podcast. If you have a so-so first guest, people who you ask to check it out may never listen again.

I also wanted to ask someone who I could leverage into other guests. The guy I had in mind was Mike Fallat, who is a fellow Arete Syndicate member that I had followed on social media, but never really had a conversation with. He runs a company that creates/publishes books for entrepreneurs, so I figured he would be well connected. (I was right)

I reached out to him on Instagram, complimented his content, and said I would love to have him on my new podcast. He said he was happy to come on. I sent him a calendly link that I made for booking and got it scheduled. I wasn't able to get him scheduled until March 15, (which is when I initially wanted to launch).

He came on, we hit off, and ended up with as solid a first interview as I could have hoped for. He then asked if he could help me in any way, and I said if he knew anyone who would be solid guests to let me know. He immediately introduced me to a handful of legit entrepreneurs/authors, many of whom I've already had on the show.

Launch

As mentioned before, I had to move my soft launch date back to March 17, which was a Wednesday. I also only had 2 episodes ready on launch (solo episode/pilot and 1 interview). Everyone says to launch with 3-5 episodes, so that wasn't ideal. I decided to wait until the next Monday to really push hard on the launch.

My launch plan wasn't really that intricate. I basically posted on all of my social media platforms, which got the word out to my main circle, but I knew it would need more than that.

So I wrote a long list of everyone I knew who I felt comfortable reaching out to individually and telling them about it. I spent a good part of the next few days doing that. That helped far more than blasting it out on social media. If you launch, take the time to do that. People really notice when you take the time to reach out to them individually.

Launch Results

In the first week after my official launch, I got around 185 downloads(aka listens) which was great. I also got a handful of iTunes reviews without soliciting any, which was encouraging.

In the next chapter, I'll talk about getting more guests (my next guest was a popular member of this forum)
 

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