Buy my new book – ‘Bring Your Product Idea to Life’

This podcast recently won the Best Podcast Award in the business category at the Independent Podcast Awards, which was a real honour. Over the years I’ve had lots of people ask me for tips on starting a podcast. While I’m not an expert, I have been hosting this podcast since March 2020, and now have nearly 200 episodes released,  so I have learned a few things. 

I thought I would share some behind-the-scenes information on how I run my podcast, in case it’s helpful for anyone thinking of starting their own someday, perhaps as a goal for 2024. I’ll talk you through the process of planning the episodes, recording, editing and releasing them. I’ll also share what you need to buy tech wise (not much!). 

  • An introduction to the episode and why I am recording this (01:23)
  • Who my podcast is for (03:45)
  • Why I like to have guests on my podcast (04:39)
  • The process of booking in guests, and scheduling ahead (06:41)
  • Why I batch record episodes (09:14)
  • Recording the introductions to conversations with guests (10:47)
  • Editing (11:29)
  • Outsourcing the rest of the process including transcription and show notes (12:06)
  • My podcast hosting platform, Captivate (12:51)
  • Releasing the episode, and accompanying social media, emails etc (13:24)
  • Five things that make a great podcast (14:16)
  • What do you need to buy (22:58)

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

USEFUL RESOURCES:

My VA: Jennifer Cooper Timesaver

My Podcast Hosting Platform: Captivate

LET’S CONNECT:

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

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Buy My Book: Bring Your Product Idea To Life

If you enjoy this podcast, and you’d like to leave a tip, you can do so here: https://bring-your-product-idea.captivate.fm/support

Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the bring your product idea to life podcast. This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses. Let's get started. Hi, so today I want to record a bit of a different episode for you. So you may know if you're a regular listener to the podcast, or if you follow me on social media, that just a few weeks ago, this podcast won the Best Podcast Award business podcast category at the Independent Podcast Awards. Um, I was super surprised and delighted and honoured to win the award. I was completely not expecting it. In fact, um, I went to the award ceremony and I wasn't even super dressed up because it was a rainy day and I was thinking, oh I've got to get the train and it's cold and I might get wet. So I wasn't even really dressed for awards because I just did not think for a moment I would be getting up on the stage. Um, but I did and I'm so happy about it and truly, truly grateful to every guest I've had on the podcast because this podcast would not be anything without you all. So to all previous and future guests, thank you so much because yeah, I need you to make this show, it's definitely not about me. So I wanted to record a different episode on the back of that because since winning the award, and in fact, even beforehand, I have had people approach me and say, I'm thinking of starting a podcast and can you either help me with recommendations for technology or can you tell me, give me some tips or let me know what it is I need to do. And I have to say, I am definitely not a podcasting expert. Definitely, definitely not. However, I have been doing this for a while now. I started this podcast in March 2020. So it was just a few weeks, maybe a one week into the pandemic and the lockdown that we had back in 2020. Fortunately, I'd recorded a few episodes before that because things got really tricky when suddenly I was trying to keep up a podcast from home with two children, not very much time and nowhere quiet to record. And we can talk a bit about, later about why it's really important to have somewhere quiet to record. Um, and today I've released nearly 200 episodes. So I am definitely not a podcasting expert, nor will you hear me ever claim to be one, but I just thought I would just do this one off special episode about Podcasts in in case it's interesting. So maybe you're listening and you're thinking that perhaps you'd like to start a podcast of your own someday. I know as we get towards the next, the end of the year, lots of people have said to me, well, I say lots, a handful of people have told me that a podcast is on their plans for 2024. In fact, someone asked me about one just yesterday. Maybe you would like to be a guest on this podcast one day, and you'd like to know a little bit more about what that involves, or maybe you would just like to get some behind the scenes information on how things work. I don't know about you. I love knowing how things work and like how people do things. So if you're here for any of those reasons, or even if you have other reasons, I hope you find this really interesting. As always, I'll try and keep it fairly succinct for you. Um, I won't bog you down. And if you have any questions after this episode, of course, you can always contact me. It's Vicki at VickiWeinberg. com. Or you can join my Facebook group, which is linked in the show notes. It's facebook. com forward slash groups forward slash product creators club. And as a little aside, I will say the podcast, the Facebook group is one of the great things that's come out of the podcast is full of podcast guests, podcast listeners, and it's just a great place to be connected with other product businesses. So let's start by just talking about you know, a bit of a recap about what this podcast is and you know, and what it's about and who it's for. So the podcast for me is for products businesses to help other product businesses or people in the very early stages of building a product business. I guess my goal was to share real relatable stories, advice, um, and for listeners to be entertained and inspired. And I guess I really want to, you know, at the end of each episode for you to either feel like you've learned something or there's something you can go away and do, or you've just found the story and the content really interesting. Because as I say, I think the stories of how people run their businesses, why they sell the products they do, what inspired them to create them, the challenges they went through, all of that I find really fascinating. And if you're listening to this podcast, hopefully, um, you'll do to. And as I said earlier, what I think makes my podcast really great, if I say so myself, is the guests. So quite often the guests I have on this podcast are doing their very first podcast interview, which I'm always incredibly flattered by. And hopefully I do always create like a friendly enough tone and atmosphere. I always say to my guests, I don't ask you any nasty or awkward questions. So hopefully it makes it a really nice podcast to come on as your first one. So if you're listening to this and you've never been on a podcast before, and you'd like to go come on one why not try mine. But what's great about speaking with people that are doing their first interview is often you won't have heard their story anywhere else. And I think that's really nice because there's nothing wrong with hearing from people that do the rounds of business podcasts. And there are, you know, some of the bigger podcasts out there. Sometimes, you know, you can tell someone's maybe got something new to sell because they're doing a lot of podcasts and it's still really interesting to hear their story, but I love the fact that I get to talk to people that you might never have heard or you might never have heard about them or their products or maybe you have and you know you're interested in finding out more about them but either way I think that's super you know unique to this podcast and also, the guests I have on, as you will have heard, especially if you've been listening a long time, have such a wide range of businesses, a wide range of backgrounds, they sell all kinds of different products, and I really enjoy finding out about them, why they started their business, um, yeah. I just find it fascinating, and that's one thing I've really found as I've recorded lots of these is that you can talk to two people whose businesses seem really similar on paper so maybe they both sell beauty products or maybe they both sell shoes for example. I've had two guests on here selling shoes and their stories and their businesses are completely different and I just think that hopefully that's A really nice message for all of us is like not to compare yourself because your business is about so much more than what you sell, it's about you as well. And those are just some of the things that I think makes my podcast unique and really good. So let's talk a little bit about the actual process of the podcast. So the first thing I do, and because as I've said, it all comes back to the guest, it's the first thing I do is get my guests booked up. And if you've ever been on the podcast, particularly recently, you'll know that I like to book guests for episodes quite far in advance. So just to give you an idea, I'm recording this at the end of November, 2023. And I have guests on my schedule whose episodes won't be released until March, 2024. Um, and most of them, I have to say I'm not actually recording with until the new year, but I don't think so far I'm recording past January. Um, so there generally is like six to eight weeks between recording an episode with me and it going live. And I do this for a couple of reasons. One, because I've committed to putting out a podcast every single week. And I definitely don't want the ideas, the ideas and the content drying up. I never want to get to the position where I'm like, oh, what should I do next week? I've got nothing on the schedule. That's like not how I like to operate. It's also so that myself and the small team I have to support me with the podcast, I'll talk a bit about later, can take time off for Christmas, holidays, if we get ill and you know, the podcast still carries on uninterrupted. I, again, I think that's really important because we've committed to an episode every week and I want to make sure I do that. And then I guess also, um, and it certainly wasn't intention, but I think the longer I've been podcasting and the more people that are happy to join me as guests. Um, the schedule does get booked up because it's easier to book guests almost three years on than it was in the beginning. And I guess the main reason for mentioning that is if you are looking to start a podcast and you have started and you're finding getting guests difficult. Um, just to reassure you, I definitely found it a bit harder in the beginning, not impossible, but harder because, you know, the podcast was new and people are taking a bit more of a chance, but I found the longer I've been podcasting and people can see that I'm creating good content and I'm doing it consistently. I've got to the point now where actually I have guests or potential guests approach me to ask if they can come on the podcast. Um, not everyone is a good fit and I'll talk a bit more about that a bit later. But it's really, really flattering that people approach me and want to come on and also when I ask someone if they'd like to join me on the podcast, I would say I've got, I don't know, 80 percent success rate. Most people do. So yeah, sometimes people are a bit nervous, particularly if they haven't been a podcast before, but most people do want to come on now. So that's really good. So that's the first thing I do is get the guests. Then I need to record the episodes. And this is probably a good time to talk about batching. So what I mean by batching is, is sort of doing things all at once, um, because when I first started this podcast, I would record podcast episodes, I think any day of the week. I've always used a calendar link for guests to book a slot and I still do that now, but I'm pretty sure at the beginning it was open, you know, you can book, I don't know what nine to five Monday to Friday probably wasn't that, but you know what I mean now I only record episodes on a Tuesday and I try and make Tuesdays my podcast day. I'm actually recording this on a Tuesday. So whether it's recording solo episodes, whether it's having interviews with guests, whether it's recording introductions after I've spoken to a guest, um, sending files over to the editor, uploading them to the trans transcription service, we use all of those sorts of tasks. If I can, I try and set aside time to do on a Tuesday because for me, I find I'm much more productive if I can do everything in one day. Of course if that doesn't work for a guest and they say to me, oh, actually, I can't do Tuesdays, maybe I work on Tuesdays or have other commitments, I will always record on a different day. So, um, it's not that I, It's not like I will only have you on the podcast if you're free on a Tuesday, that's definitely not the case. Um, I try and record on Tuesdays because it works for me, but I am super flexible. If a guest says, oh actually can we do a Friday morning or something, or any other time, as long as my diary's clear, of course I will do that. But I find that helps massively. So as I mentioned, I'm recording episodes a bit in advance, and then what I tend to do is wait until I've got a couple of episodes that have been recorded, and then I record introductions. So I record an introduction to the episode after I've recorded the episode. I used to do it the other way around, but the reason I do it this way is, well, two things. One is that if I mess up a little bit, you know, when I'm reading out the guest's name or their bio, I can just stop and re record and I'm not doing it in front of the guests which would be awkward and also a bit of a waste of their time. And then also it means I can reference things we spoke about in the conversation in the introduction to give you an idea of the kind of things that I'm going to be talking about and hopefully you find that useful when you listen to those. Um, once I've recorded the episode and the introduction, um, or a solo episode like this, if I'm just, if it's just me recording on my own, I then send the files over to an editor who makes them sound better for me. I used to do my own editing in the beginning and I think it's definitely possible to do your own editing. Um, I've outsourced it for two reasons. One is time. It did take me a bit of time to do it. And the other thing is I didn't enjoy it. And I just got to the point where I thought actually I think it makes more sense to pay someone else to do this. This is a job that I don't have to be doing for myself. Um, and speaking of which, all of the next part of the process, I also outsource. So I have a lovely VA, Jenny and her, Jenny and her team actually do everything else from getting the file back from the editor. So I upload it into a transcription software that we use because I don't know if you're aware, but there's actually a transcript for every single episode of this podcast. I've even had all of the old episodes transcribed, um, because that's really important to me that if you're unable to listen and for any reason you can still read the transcript and follow the conversation. Um, so those are all available on the main website for this podcast, which of course is linked in the show notes. And depending what podcast player you're listening in, you might be able to get the transcript directly from there as well. So we have some software that I upload that into. And from there it syncs through to Captivate who is the platform that I host the podcast on and if you're interested in finding out more about captivate I'm going to have a link to them in the show notes if you're thinking of using them for your own podcast, for example. I've been with them ever since I launched I think they're great. They're reliable. They're easy to use and um So then Jenny or someone in her team will then make sure all the information for the episode goes into Captivate. So the episode title, and the SEO information, and the show notes, and any links that we've spoken about, and the artwork. And then you just schedule the episode as you would a social media post. And then every Friday morning at 6am, the episode is released on all of the podcast channels. And um, speaking of scheduling, um, she also schedules all of the social media posts for the episode as well, as well as contacting the guest and providing them with the link and the artwork and everything that's needed for them to share the episode, because guest sharing out the episode is really, really helpful. And if you are a guest on the podcast, please do share the episode because it really, really helps. Um, and if you are thinking of starting your own podcast, I definitely recommend asking guests to help you out by sharing it because it's actually. Podcasts can be a hard thing, I've found, to promote and share. Um, and so the more people you've got helping with that, the better. So that's the process of how the podcast comes to life, as it were. And so, the next thing I was going to talk about is, I recently was asked, um, to do an interview about five things that make a great podcast. Um, you may have seen that. Um, my social somewhere. You might have read the article already, but in case you haven't, I thought it might be interesting for you if I just run through the five things that I think makes for a really good podcast. So in no particular order, here they are. Um, I first bit of advice is to pick something you enjoy speaking about and enjoy learning about, because if you are planning on starting a podcast, presumably you're in it for the long term and what you really don't want is to start a podcast on a subject and realize that actually you don't have enough content to talk about it um, for the foreseeable future, or you actually don't have the enthusiasm about it and you don't enjoy recording episodes about it. I think that listeners will be able to tell if you're losing passion for it. So do choose your subject carefully. Um, and of course, remember that while I'm saying this, the subject of your podcast can, of course, change over time. So you're not choosing a subject to talk about forever, but you do need to pick a topic that you think, okay, you can at least do a certain number of episodes on. Um, and I guess another way you could look at this is some podcasts have series. So you could do a series of one series on one topic and then maybe have a break and do a series on another topic if that's what you wanted to do. But I would just think really carefully about what your podcast is about. Um, also think about who your podcast is for. So who's going to listen to it. And what kind of content they might be interested in. I think having that at the back of your mind really, really helps. And then leading on from that, if you're planning to have a podcast where you're having guests on, then obviously get some great guests. Because I think that if you're a podcaster who speaks to other people, I think the quality of the guests, um, really makes a massive difference. I've been so, so lucky with the guests I've had on this podcast. And I think part of that is I'm really clear on who would and wouldn't make a good guest. So in the beginning, I definitely had a few people on here who perhaps weren't the best fit. And by the way, this is nothing personal. This is nothing to do with individuals on who came onto the podcast. It was more that I feel like, um, their businesses and the stories they had to share perhaps wouldn't have resonated as well with you as some of the other ones that I did. So, um, now when I get approached by people who want to be a guest on the podcast, I always really politely decline if I think they don't meet the criteria. So what I'm looking for, and I guess this is probably helpful for you to listen to if you would like to be a guest, is I'm mainly looking for UK based businesses because my podcast is based in the UK, I'm based in the UK. That's not to say that I won't have businesses from other countries. So I recently interviewed somebody based in Singapore. Um, but I think the thing to consider if you're based somewhere other than the UK is that I do record on a UK schedule. Unfortunately, like with a young family, I don't have the flexibility to record like late in the night or early um, early mornings or anything like that, so I do record during core hours, so um, sometimes that's a reason for me not featuring guests from other places when, um, perhaps they're not willing to adjust their schedules to come on the podcast, so I have to say, well, I'm really sorry, but that's a hard line for me, I only record during certain hours, as I said, I can be flexible in the day, but not so much on recording hours, so that's a reason not to join. And I'm interested in speaking to either products businesses of any size and it doesn't matter how long that you've been in business as long as you have, you know, the willingness to talk about your product and to talk about your business. And I never ask anything that I think would be considered confidential or anything like that. So just people who are willing to talk really openly about what they've learned, um, with the view of sharing some of their experiences and learnings with you. And then the other guests I have on the podcast are people that can help products businesses. So people with an area of expertise, whatever that might be. So I've had people on here talking about branding, social media, marketing, using email lists, accounting for small businesses, all kinds of things. So if you feel that you can talk about a topic that would benefit the audience, which is mainly, um, small business owners, then, um, that's the kind of guest I'd like to have as well. So, my third thing for having a great podcast is to stick to a schedule, because I don't know about you, but as a podcast listener, I find it so frustrating when podcasts are inconsistent, and that is probably the biggest reason that I stop listening to a podcast. If, you know, I subscribe to one and one week I get an episode and I don't get anything for two or three weeks, and then I get another episode, I just, I just give up. I think that if producing an episode every day or every week is a bit much, then pick a frequency that works. One of my favorite podcasts is fortnightly, um, and that works for me, and I assume it works for them as well. Or maybe consider seasons, where you could record a set number of episodes all at one go and get you know, as we're talking about batching early, you could do your recording, your editing, everything in one go. Release them on maybe a weekly basis, over six weeks, eight weeks, however long your season's going to be. Take a break, and then come back with a season two, and carry on. Um, if you are going to podcast regularly, I would think about the schedule that works for you. And I also would say that that does also come down to the day of the week you release an episode because again if podcasts become part of your routine I know for me there are certain podcasts I like to listen to when I go for a run, when I walk the dog and I get really frustrated like this morning. I've got a podcast I'm recording on a Tuesday as I said and there's a podcast I usually listen to on a Tuesday morning when I go for my run, but for whatever reason the episode wasn't available when I left at my normal time and I was a bit annoyed because I was like, oh, I always look forward to that one on my run. Um, of course things happen. It's unavoidable, but I would try your best to stick to the same day and time every week. So my fourth piece of advice is to ask good questions if you're having guests on your podcast. Now, as I've said before. I am not an expert podcaster. I'm also not an expert interviewer. However, I do think I ask pretty good questions. I've been told I ask good questions to help my guests share their stories. Um, and I guess my tip on how, well, how I do this, certainly, and it might not work for everyone, is I do some research on my guests. Find out a bit about them and their business, but I don't go too much research. If they've been on a podcast already, I'll make a point of not listening, for example, and in case you're thinking that it sounds maybe counterintuitive, is that if I know too much about them, I might not ask the question that you would want me to ask because I already know the answer. Um, I do try and check myself on this quite a lot, so quite often I will ask questions that I definitely do know the answer to. Because, um, I think it would be really interesting for the guest to share it with you. Um, but for that reason, I don't do too much research. It's always really nice if I hear something in a podcast and I think, oh, I didn't know that about you or about your products. And then I can, you know, ask the real questions that hopefully you are thinking about at home as well. So I hope that's useful advice for anyone looking to have a guest. And then my final piece of advice, and I have touched on this already, is that it just is really good to know who your podcast is for right at the beginning because it makes it so much easier to pick guests to pick topics to talk about if you know who your podcast is for, um, and by knowing who it's for when you get. So, for example, when you've got ideas for episodes, that's also much more helpful. So this episode came about because just yesterday, somebody asked me about my podcast and how I did it and what I use and all that kind of thing. And I just thought, you know, you're the fifth person who's asked me that this week. I'm going to turn that into a podcast episode. Um. And that maybe that's not the best example, actually, because maybe because this is obviously a bit outside the topic I usually talk about, but I hope you'll forgive me for this slightly different episode. But in general, so if I see a question asked in my Facebook group, for example, or a client contacts me with a question, I make a note of it because those people are the people that are listening to my podcast as well. And I'm sure that for most questions, they will not be the only people thinking that. So I kind of, I see what people are asking and thinking about when I'm thinking about what content I'm going to talk about on each episode, if that makes sense. And then the final thing I want to talk about, because this is something I always get asked, is what do you need to buy? And I would say, not a lot. I think the main thing that you need to have isn't something you need to buy, and that's like a suitable environment to record in. So, that just means a quiet space in your home, in your office, whatever it is. You don't need, like, necessarily need a soundproof room. In fact, I recorded in a room a little while ago that was meant to be soundproofed, but it actually wasn't, and I think it actually, the quality was worse than recording where I usually record at home. I do try and record in the same room, I have a little home office and I do try to always record in this office. Reason being is I think that the sound here will always be fairly consistent. I mean I've had to move a few times if there's been like roadworks outside or something. But I do try and record in the same room because I think that helps the editor that at least on my side the background noise is always about the same. I've now learnt to throw the dog out of the room before I record, because he's generally really quiet. And quite often I would start an interview, not realizing he was here because he'd be fast asleep, and then someone would come to the door and he'd start barking, which isn't great. So, do try and get any, you know, remove any distractions you can. I always turn off emails on my computer, anything that might ping. Um, I have my phone set to do not disturb, so hopefully nothing will disturb me while I'm recording. So that's the first thing, is the environment. I record my episodes on Zoom, um, directly on my laptop. The only two pieces of equipment I have that I've bought, well actually there's three. One is a microphone, and it's not a particularly expensive microphone. I'm still using the same one I used when I started out. Um, I will upgrade at some point. I always thought I would upgrade, but actually, three years in, it's still working fine. Um, and it's a microphone I just plug into my laptop. And I also brought a separate filter, which is meant to block out a little bit of noise, and that's something you can sort of click on onto the stand. And the filter I want to say was under £5 from Amazon. I've also got a really good pair of over the ear headphones that plug into my laptop, and the reason I have ones that plug in, and this might just be unique to me, is that I found that when I was using wireless headphones, which I have tried, sometimes they would cut out and that wasn't great. I think headphones are essential as well as a microphone. Um, two reasons really, one is it blocks out a little bit of, well mine do anyway, I have noise cancelling headphones, they block out a bit of the external noise for me, which is kind of good, as I say, from a distraction point of view. And the other thing is if you're not wearing headphones and you're talking to a guest, and then their sound comes through on your computer speakers and then it might get picked up by your microphone and then you get a little bit of feedback or echo. So I also always encourage my guests to have headphones on as well. Yes, don't need to have a microphone. Uh, if they do, then that's a bonus, but I do like all guests to wear headphones just to try and mitigate some of that, because that can be quite frustrating. And that is literally it, when I recorded in a different room, I used to put some soft cushions and stuff around to soften the sound a little bit, I don't even do that now in the room I record in, but as I say I now do have an editor working on the sound, so I guess that probably makes a bit of a difference in that I don't have to think about it as much as I used to. But I would say in total, I've spent probably less than 200, much less actually, on equipment for this podcast. Um, and then the only other things you need to think about are paying for somewhere to host your podcast. As I mentioned, I used Captivate and I will put a link to Captivate in the show notes. You can go and find out some more. And I do pay for certain aspects to be outsourced, but it is definitely possible in the beginning to do all of the things I've mentioned yourself. I did for a really long time. Um, and to start a podcast and grow a podcast without spending very much money at all. So I hope that's reassuring. So I hope as always that this episode has been interesting. Um, I've noticed I have recorded for a bit longer than I meant to. I always try and keep these mini ones on to under 20 minutes, but I don't seem to have done that. But I hope it was useful. If you have any more questions, as I say, definitely not a podcast expert, but I'm always happy to tell you what I know and what I can share. If you found this podcast useful, please share it with your friends. Please rate, review, subscribe, all of the usual things. Thank you so much and I'll be back next week with another episode. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my website vickiweinberg. com. Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.