The Podcast People

Baird Media Become a Podmaster Producing a Podcast
In this episode of the Become a Podmaster podcast, why find out more about the different genres and formats of podcasts.


Baird Media

Become A Podmaster – S1E3 – Producing a Podcast

[00:00:00] Hendrik Baird: So, Ethan, do you know which days are the strongest? 

[00:00:05] Ethan Baird: No. 

[00:00:05] Hendrik Baird: Saturdays and Sundays.

[00:00:07] Ethan Baird: Why?

[00:00:07] Hendrik Baird: The rest are weekdays.

Okay. What are we doing today? 

[00:00:18] Ethan Baird: Production. 

[00:00:19] Hendrik Baird: Production. 

[00:00:20] Ethan Baird: Actually making a podcast. 

[00:00:21] Hendrik Baird: Making a podcast easier than you think, but also involves a lot more steps than you might think. 

[00:00:27] Ethan Baird: There’s obviously two whole kinds of production. There’s the technical post-production … 

[00:00:33] Hendrik Baird: Which is what most people think about it when you say producing a podcast, editing, that’s what they think about.

[00:00:37] Ethan Baird: Exactly. But there’s a whole other kind of production that happens before you even hit the record button. And that’s…

[00:00:43] Hendrik Baird: Preproduction. Yes. So when you make a movie, for instance, and I think it’s a, it’s a good analogy. You need a script, obviously, then you need to cast your actors, then you need to find locations, you’ve gotta get your crew, you’ve gotta figure out the shooting schedule.

All of those things go into your pre-production process. And I think this is something that podcasters often neglect to their own detriment. They don’t plan the thing out properly, and then when they fade off the episode five or six, they don’t know why. And it is because they didn’t have a plan to start with.

[00:01:15] Ethan Baird: What a lot of people will do is they’ll just send out podcast interview requests without any kind of real idea of what’s happening. They just throw a request and then they kind of wing it on the day, which we have been guilty of in the past for sure. So it’s not a value judgment here, it’s something everybody’s done, I think at some point in their podcast journey.

[00:01:34] Hendrik Baird: And that’s how you learn also. I mean, through your mistakes. 

[00:01:36] Ethan Baird: Yeah.

[00:01:37] Hendrik Baird: But you can shortcut the whole thing. Just by getting my book, Become a Podmaster: Everything You Need to Know to Master the Art of Podcasting. 

There we go. And beautifully said in Unison. Unison.

[00:01:52] Ethan Baird: But what we are gonna do in this episode is actually give you examples of how other people produce their podcasts. React to some of that. Explain how we are producing this very podcast, tell you exactly what we currently have in front of us as we are recording this. But mostly I think it’d be really interesting for people to see the kind of range that people have when they come to producing their podcast.

Some people script every single word. Some people fly by the seat of their pants, and there’s something kind of in the middle that I think. Is really the sweet spot and some people have hit and some people may be struggling with. 

[00:02:24] Christine Campbell-Rapin: So I am Christine Campbell Rappin. My podcast is called Amplify Your Marketing Message.

Well, I don’t preplan anything in terms of questions. However, what I do want this episode to be, especially when in an, it’s the interview style, it’s, it’s a conversation, not necessarily a grilling. So I meet with my guests, all of them, unless I know them really well in my network already, and I ask them what would, what’s the elephant as you see it?

What are the three things you would wanna talk about? They, they then submit that to me at the time they book the episode recording. And so I know the roadmap of what we wanna cover, where it shines the light on their expertise and they have some level of comfort around, but there’s no set questions that I provide ’em, other than you told me this is what you wanna talk about.

I will weave the story to get you there. And so it is a conversational idea. And interestingly, you know, one of the things to talk about success measures is often then in the episodes I have guests go, Wow. I never really saw it that way until you asked me, but you know what? That’s gonna be the piece I need to get my message out clearer.

And that’s when they say, I need to take that video clip because that is actually what I really need to be messaging. So I’m coaching, in the session subtly without them being super aware of it and helping give them a nugget to go and apply. And I think if you don’t fully script it, it helps. I said there is a format, we’re gonna talk about the elephant, three things and a session, and the guests know to expect that.

And I said, beyond that, this is gonna be a free form. We’re gonna record 15 to 20 minutes. Last question will be this, so you know when we’re heading 

towards it. 

[00:03:55] Logan Sorrell: My name’s Logan Sorell. I actually worked on two major podcasts. Well, with Mack it’s very, it’s very advanced. 

They have like a full planning document.

They have a full Google Drive folder that they have, that we all have access to. We, we access it and we sort of, they plan out schedules of where we’re gonna shoot, when we’re gonna do this, we gonna do that, and yeah, it’s just very, then with Cinema Suitcase, we just. Let’s plan for this weekend. We’ll do it. And then here’s a list of movies. Pick two movies that you wanna, that you wanna do an episode on, and then we sort of just do that. Planning definitely, I’d say is very important. Just like, you know, make sure you

plan. Another thing is make sure you, your podcast has a format. 

Um, that’s one advice you can give. Cause master podcast, we have a very clear format. We, we know what we’re gonna do. Step, step, we have like a very specific plan. Cause I feel like with podcasts where, especially when you first start on a podcast, you might start out with like, oh, ok, let’s just pick a topic and let’s just talk about it. So whatever you know, and that could be fine for, you know, in some situations. But I think a lot of the time you do need to have a plan. You do need to have a structure to the episode.

[00:04:56] Benji Block: I am Benji Block, I work for Sweet Fish Media. We’re a B2B podcasting agency. I’m the host and executive producer for B2B growth. One thing that’s super helpful, if you are. Interviewing guests is to have a pre-interview.

We typically do a 30 minute pre-interview where I have some pretty set questions to try to feel out what are they really passionate about, what do they have more of, like a hot take on, what are they seeing in the market? And I’ll just jot down notes. I’ll let our, our zoom call recorder record that so I can go transcribe it later and I can look at that.

I’ll also, clearly, if it’s a higher stakes guest, that might mean that they’re. Social profile and how much they’ve posted or been on other shows. All those things, you just go watch that. Even doing the basics of watching a couple other places that that person has had a speaking engagement or this, the LinkedIn statuses, there are the, the social posts that they’ve created in the last couple months will give you great context and I might have.

Some bullet points of things that aren’t a specific question, but they sit at the top of the document of all my questions that I’m gonna ask, and they’re just bullet points of like, they said this and I thought it was interesting, or they went here on vacation last month. Or having a few of those talking points that you can then flow from naturally is so helpful as a podcast host because you feel like you know that person a little bit better going into the interview, the more prep you can do on the front end and the better that you can outline your notes so you can quickly kind of jump from place to place has been really, really helpful for me. 

[00:06:29] Hendrik Baird: Uh, pre-planning a podcast. How the hell do you do that? 

[00:06:34] Ethan Baird: Yeah. So we did this one in a very, Strange way, I think in retrospect, but it really worked for what we are trying to do here. 

[00:06:42] Hendrik Baird: Our idea was to have a podcast that illuminates some of the issues that are in the book.

So we already had the book as a kind of a solid foundation from which to work. 

[00:06:52] Ethan Baird: Yes. So the book’s the foundation, but then there was some questions that we couldn’t really answer yet. And also I think it’s a lot more interesting too. Show, not tell. This podcast could have just been us reading the book. 

[00:07:05] Hendrik Baird: What I did is I used LinkedIn and I used the search function to find everybody who has the word podcast or podcaster in their description who identifies as a podcaster because we wanted to build a series based broadly on the book’s outline or, or the book structure. I wanted to interview people about specific aspects of podcasting. So what I then did is I put together a sort of generic, uh, invitation, little message. I made connection requests with these people that I thought were interesting and looked like the right kind of people to interview. And I sent them this little message. Some of them ignored me, some of them came back and said, yeah, it sounds interesting. And they never responded. And some of them actually clicked on the link and made an appointment to do the actual interview with 


[00:07:54] Ethan Baird: So then what happened was we actually just started the recording of interviews.

[00:07:58] Hendrik Baird: Yes. So these were booked with us all over the place whenever they were available. Over about to six weeks period, I think. 

[00:08:05] Ethan Baird: And and I, because of load-shedding and also because maybe Division of Labor, I then recorded the majority of these actual interviews. I went in looking at their LinkedIn profiles, getting a decent idea of who they are. Then just proceeded to have a chat about what it seemed as though they were passionate about, but also very specifically asked them about their podcast production process. So after a few recordings, we then realized, okay, we’ve got some industry people, we’ve got some hobbyists, but there’s a couple.

There’s a couple kinds of podcasters that we haven’t gotten yet, and what we really wanted was podcasters with a big audience because we always get questions about how to grow your podcast, and I think it’ll be way better to just get that answer for someone who already has, which is how we eventually started getting people like 

[00:08:47] Hendrik Baird: Dan Ches, 

[00:08:48] Ethan Baird: Benji who then explained to us exactly how they got where they are now.

So up until this point, what’s happened? You’ve sent out LinkedIn messages. We reached out to these people. We’ve just recorded interviews. 

[00:09:01] Hendrik Baird: Yeah, but we also recorded them with a specific kind of frame and, you know, structure in mind of how the podcast would play out. So we did ask them specific questions that we thought we could put into specific episodes.

[00:09:15] Ethan Baird: Exactly. 

[00:09:15] Hendrik Baird: And what we have found or having done all of these so far is, is that there’s still some issues that are missing. And therefore going forward. Also, uh, for the next few episodes, we will very specifically ask questions around very specific topics that we still need to cover to, you know, uh, complete the series.

[00:09:33] Ethan Baird: So now we’re still in the pre-planning phase. It’s strange because we’ve already recorded things, but we’re still in the pre-planning phase of the podcast, which are we recording right now? 

[00:09:41] Hendrik Baird: So, just side point, I mean we, we are talking a little bit about guest coordination, so on. That’s something we’ll we’ll cover in the next episode. So we should to listen to that. Because I think it’s important to understand how other people are also working with guests and, and conducting interviews and so on. But this episode’s not specifically about that. It’s about the broader pre-planning process. Also, we, we are not strictly scripting this, we are not writing a word by word script. As you can hear, we are having a conversation here, and what we did is we took the clips, you cut them up. Into little bits and pieces, gave them titles so we knew what they were about. And then I took that and sort of broadly put them into, documents, which has talking points and would show which clips would go roughly where. So this is not like a, a meticulously planned out scripting process. It’s more of a broad strokes. These are the things we want to talk about. Let’s see if we can have a, a natural conversation that flows that would be interesting to listen to and that would get to those pertinent points. 

[00:10:45] Ethan Baird: It’s a tricky balance because we didn’t want to have too many preconceived notions about what people would say. We wanted people to give us their true opinion and tell us exactly what they’re going through and how they’re producing their podcast. 

[00:10:57] Hendrik Baird: Sorry, I’ve to interrupt you. Do you remember when we were doing the radio station and the BBC came to interview me and he told me very specifically, I want you to say this and say it this way, because he needed specific little clips or little bits and pieces to, to make easy insert. And like you say, that’s not what what we were doing. We were fishing for things and then finding those golden nuggets and then putting them together into what you’re listening to now. 

[00:11:24] Ethan Baird: The reason for this is because we know it’s going to be a very post-production heavy podcast, so we are also trusting that I’m going to then figure out a way to make this all make sense. But we know what. It’s possible production wise. So we didn’t stress necessarily too much about how it was all going to fit together because we wanted to get the most interesting content possible and the most real content possible, and then find a way to pull it all together and get this narrative theme. So what you’re listening to now has been very heavily edited. There’s things that were recorded five minutes into the podcast that get pulled right back to the end. 

[00:12:02] Hendrik Baird: Things that recorded weeks ago that you’re going to listen to right now because Benji is talking about how to stand out, how do you stand out with a podcast, how there are so many different podcasts and so many different fields. How does one stand out from the rest? 

[00:12:17] Benji Block: One is you can take the perspective of being a student because you gotta think that. Whatever your, let’s, use health and wellness as an example. Go look right now at the top a hundred podcasts in health and wellness. If you’re starting a new show, you’re competing. With not just the top a hundred, but you’re competing with the top a hundred, and then all of those that don’t even fall in the top a hundred that are in that category. So there are experts that know far more than you, or they’ve at least got a head start and they’re far ahead of you. So if you can take on the perspective of my unique positioning is that I am a student that’s willing to sit behind a mic and ask questions, but I don’t know everything. That’s actually an excellent way of differentiating yourself, even if you know stuff. But if you can take that humble positioning, it also changes the types of questions you’re willing to ask, which makes you come off more curious. And it can humanize it because you can share where you actually are versus when a lot of people get behind a mic, they feel like they have to be an expert, and it takes them a long time to unlearn that, so then they sound uninteresting for a really, really long time. That, and you could pick somebody, let’s go to a a B2B example here real quick. You could pick someone at your company who’s not in the exact seat of the person that you’re, you’re seeking to interview. And by doing that, You’re not gonna use a bunch of jargon. It’s almost the same thing as positioning as a student, but like in our case with B2B growth, Our CEO, he’s marketing minded, but he’s not a CMO, he’s a CEO, right? And for me, I’m coming in with a lot of content marketing experience, some social media marketing experience, but honestly, I’m more of a podcast host than I am either of those things. So when we talk to a CMO, we love marketing and we can talk about it, but we’re talking to someone with experience and it creates this great dynamic because we’re not all sitting in the exact same position.

[00:14:12] Hendrik Baird: How did we make this one stand out?

[00:14:14] Ethan Baird: That is a great question. I think ours will stand out by the virtue of being not just another interview podcast. 

[00:14:20] Hendrik Baird: Yeah. That’s what people do. Hey is like, I’m gonna do a podcast, I’m gonna interview somebody. That’s what a podcast has become. And I was reading an article the other day saying that you can’t compete with the big podcasters who are specialists in interview podcasts, we, we truly can’t compete with them and, and therefore we have to experiment with all the other different formats of podcasting.

So if you want to find out about genres and formats, obviously you’ve gotta read the book because there’s a whole chapter on that. What is our genre? Our genre is…

[00:14:56] Ethan Baird: Business marketing most likely. It’s definitely a marketing related podcast, 

[00:15:00] Hendrik Baird: but, but it’s also a podcast about podcasting, 

[00:15:03] Ethan Baird: which is a media form.

[00:15:04] Hendrik Baird: Yeah. 

[00:15:05] Ethan Baird: So maybe it’s marketing media. Yeah, marketing business. So the reason using this very specific terms, is if you go to your podcasting host platform, we use iono.Fm, but there’s many, you’ll at some point have to use a dropdown box to determine your two genres. The reason for that is all the podcast platforms use those genres to then list your podcast and categorize it, right? So we need to figure out exactly what is our genre. By the time this podcast comes out, you can see it there, but. Let’s discuss. What could it be? I think it’s business, marketing, media, something. 

[00:15:39] Hendrik Baird: Well, it’s, it’s a bit training as well. I mean, education. Yeah. You, you would probably say it’s not strictly business business though. No. It’s more media and 

entertainment. I think marketing has to be there. Maybe marketing education. 

Marketing education. Yeah. Probably around that. Because I mean, we, we are using podcasts as a marketing tool. This is a, a tool for us to sell our book, to sell our mentoring program program to, to sell our services and to educate you a little bit about what podcasting is all about and, and what it takes to make a podcast. But it goes hand in hand with a book and, and with our other services as well. So it’s kind of somewhere there in the middle. 

[00:16:16] Ethan Baird: Once we upload this to the feed, we’ll make that final decision. 

[00:16:19] Hendrik Baird: Go check quickly on that. Go, go look. You’ll see what we decided in the end. 

[00:16:24] Ethan Baird: And then what’s our format? 

[00:16:25] Hendrik Baird: Our format. So there are very many different formats that you could use. The most often used one is an interview style podcast. This is what 90% of podcasts are really. And you can’t compete with the big guys. You can’t compete with, with, you know, the people that, that make a living of doing interviews with really famous people. Our previous podcast, which is about content marketing, was an interview style one because I wanted to find out from people who do content marketing, what it is they do, how they do it, and and what it is that they do. So that I felt was the most relevant format for that. But our format here today is more conversational style podcast co-hosted with clips.

[00:17:05] Ethan Baird: Yeah, I’d say co-hosted with clips is probably the easiest way to describe it. We very specifically want this podcast to have a reasonably high production value as a portfolio piece as well, and to show people what we are capable of. So therefore we intentionally put ourselves under pressure to create something that is more dynamic, changes every few minutes, you know, uses clips in an interesting way, but doesn’t bore you with them.

So ultimately that’s our format, co-hosted with clips. 

[00:17:35] Hendrik Baird: Ultimately, this is about storytelling. It’s about being entertained, and if you get educated in the process, well good for you, but, every good piece of media tells a story, whether it’s a news article, whether it’s a movie on Netflix or a documentary, whether it’s a podcast or a a radio. You know, what do you do on radio? You know, when you have a, a little thing, a little chat about keto diets and what do people eat? And, you know, vegetarian. It’s call the link. Call them Link scenario. There you go. I should’ve known that. So, but each of that is a little story and every good story has a beginning and middle and an end.

[00:18:12] Ethan Baird: Benji, he kind of blew my mind a little bit when I interviewed him. You weren’t there for that because I was obviously doing the recordings. He’s the current host of the B2B Growth Podcast, and what he and his whole company are against is commodity content. 

[00:18:29] Hendrik Baird: What the hell is commodity content? 

[00:18:30] Benji Block: We view commodity content as the enemy. The reason we do this, I’ll use a story, so I ran a marathon. A couple years ago for my 30th birthday, and in the lead up to that, I did what everybody does. I started Googling, how do I train for a marathon? And when you Google that, the first five pages are full of articles that essentially say the exact same thing and gave me no real knowledge that I needed. It was just articles ranking for SEO purposes. I don’t remember the website. I don’t remember the people that wrote those articles. I remember none of the businesses. So that’s commodity content right there. I don’t need to be told to drink more water. I clearly know that if I’m running a marathon, I’m going to drink water. Commodity content is a problem because businesses for a long time have said, how can we just rank for SEO? Or how can we create content on our blog that even if it answers a question, it’s done in a way that essentially is watered down to the point just to rank for search. So in podcasting this happens, because we take on the similar mindset. How do I just get someone on my show, create a podcast, that even if I’m like, Creating relationship with that person. The content quality is not up to par. We just do it to hit a quota. We were told in our content marketing position, this is what you must produce.

Instead of thinking about what’s the quality of the content that we are producing and how can we do that consistently? So, In business specifically, we view commodity content as an issue that has exploded. And I think actually it’s getting worse now because of ChatGPT and because of automation, we can do this at scale in a different way, but I’ll say just specifically for podcasting, this runs rampant because people say we’re gonna start a podcast, and they don’t really have a clear vision of what a good show sounds like. So then it’s just, we said we were gonna produce every week. So we create a podcast every week. And just because you’re consistent, Doesn’t mean you’re consistently excellent. And so then. We have a ton of podcast episodes, but we’ve just created more commodity content. We have just created more kind of crappy content, in my opinion.

[00:20:35] Ethan Baird: And I think especially nowadays, if you’re in business, you’ve seen all the posts and the blogs that are very clearly just a rehash of something else. Don’t actually do anything new, aren’t actually really entertaining. They’re just kind of there for the sake of being there. And what Benji spoke about and what we need to think about in general as podcasters is, are we doing this just for the sake of doing it, or is there an actual reason for this, and how is it really going to provide value for the listener? Because if it doesn’t do those things, there’s no point. So what did we learn today? 

[00:21:08] Hendrik Baird: What did we learn today?

Well, what did I learn? I learned that I need to learn a lot more. 

[00:21:13] Ethan Baird: Pre-production is a complicated process, and it’s unique to each individual, 

[00:21:17] Hendrik Baird: and it’s probably the most important part of your podcast. 

[00:21:21] Ethan Baird: Yes. It’s always better to have a plan than to not have a plan, but everybody plans in their own way and what works for them and for their content. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to you, but if you are working on a podcast and you are not doing a pre-production process, you have to implement one that can look however you want it to look. But in the book we have some really practical tips on how you can pre-plan your podcast in a way that’ll work for you.

[00:21:48] Hendrik Baird: And the book, of course, is available on our website, Baird.Media. If you found this podcast on our website, then you are already there. Just go and click on the link there to get to the books. But if you’re not there, go to Baird.Media and find the books there. There are two books. Become a Podmaster and also Purposefully Repurpose for Profit. You’ll also find a ton of content. There’s lots of articles. There’s the podcast about content marketing and more interesting stuff coming your way. 

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