SHOUT! Social Communication | Podcasting

Blog 4 – SHOUT! | Creating the Perfect Podcast

With Guest Contribution from Voice Over Artist – Vonnie Lea.

Do you like the title? These blogs are about how to shout a little louder in this very noisy world. At Firetree we are all about communication and digital marketing, specifically visual communication.

This is the fourth in a series of blogs that explains HOW we communicate and the importance of communicating well. It will also give an insight into where I’m heading with Firetree. Along the way i’m going to teach you a whole wealth of information about modern digital marketing, video and visual communication. Its not about what I sell and provide, these blogs are about inspiration, innovation and how to embrace the new era of communication. If you like it , please subscribe. If you feel you have something to contribute to the blog, drop me a message.

Where To Start With Podcasting?

I am going to have some fun with this blog. It’s all about podcasting and I have created alongside the blog, a short podcast about ‘how to podcast’. On a budget it cost around £6, (I did have a mic and headphones) the most expensive item was the awful music! I could have paid a lot more for better music, you do get what you pay for.. So after you have read the blog, follow the link at the bottom and have a listen to the podcast on podcasting. (Try not to laugh..)

So where to start, not everyone likes being in front of a camera, creating a video where you are the presenter takes a certain amount of confidence and personality for it to work, perhaps you already blog but you want to reach out to new listeners. This blog is all about Podcasting, from what it is, to how to do it.

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is a free service that lets users download audio files, usually in MP3 format from a Podcasting website, to listen to on their computers, or on the move on mobile phones or personal audio players. The term its self, ‘Podcasting’ coms from a combination of the worlds IPod (made by Apple) and broadcasting.

The benefits of podcasting:

  • A great alternative to video
  • Easy to access ‘on-the-go’
  • Easy to consume
  • Can reach an audience that doesn’t read blog posts or watch videos
  • Highly engaging
  • Increases engagement with your audience
  • Increase traffic generation

I have spoken at great length about how ‘video is king’. However I recently spoke with someone who dislikes watching video. She found the format intrusive on her social feed. There are also a great many successful professionals who are not comfortable shooting videos. Using videos if you are not confident could hurt your business and damage it’s reputation.

The ‘listening on the go’ nature of podcasting, means that broadcasters can tap into the commuter network and your content will be listened to in situations where reading or watching a video is impractical.

If your content is good, listeners will usually subscribe to a series. Podcasting is great at building effective relationships with listeners. They give the listener the feeling that they know the broadcaster. People will listen because they have something in common with the speaker, identifies with the brand of the podcaster. This reinforces brand and builds relationships and trust.

With the advent of mobile technology, podcasting has boomed in recent years. Recent listener statistics (Ofcom UK) say that weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in 3 years from 3.2m in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018.

Every age group is getting involved but interestingly the most explosive growth is among young adults between the ages of 15-24, with around one in 5 now listening to podcasts every week. (Ofcom reference link)

How To Podcast – Guest Contribution from Voice Over Artist Vonnie LeaVonnie Lea Voice over artist

Vonnie has very kindly agreed to contribute her professional know-how to this months blog.

 

Vonnie is a professional voice over artist with a wealth of experience delivering voice overs for TV advertising, corporate videos and audio books. If you would like to find out more about Vonnie her website link is www.voiceandvideoscript.com

 

Embrace You

Your first podcast? It’s not natural talking to yourself BUT, what will really help is if you mentally EMBRACE who you are. Know that your quirks will come out, you can’t hide who you are, and you shouldn’t! Listeners LOVE authenticity. Rather than trying to sound like somebody you’ve heard before, or trying to replicate someone else, and in the process ending up sounding awkward….BE YOU! 
Your audience will thank you for it. Authenticity keeps people listening. Nothing worse than tuning into someone who sounds like wooden and fake.
Pop Filter
You don’t need a studio or an acoustically treated room to create professional sounding podcasts. A quiet room helps, so is turning off all ambient noise, removing pets, jewellery, mobile phones etc. Neither do you need an expensive mic. A plug in USB mic that is of a reasonable quality (around £50) works just fine for podcasts. Of course, if you have a bigger budget then by all means, you get what you pay for! Don’t record using just the computer mic though. They are always poor quality (even my £200 MacBook Pro has a rubbish internal mic)
A simple and cheap trick to save time cleaning up your audio after recording is to buy a pop filter! These cheap (£5) and useful little filters removes a lot of the plosives (T’s, P’s, S’s….) in your speech – use it wisely and you could save yourself HOURS cleaning up your audio after recording.
Hydrate
There’s nothing worse than listening to someone who you can HEAR needs a glass of water! Clicks, sticky mouths, mouth noises – ewww! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Stay away from caffeine an hour before you record and you should have a nice easy recording without all those off putting sounds. Oh and eat an apple, or some grapes – great for hydrating a dry mouth.
Notice filler words
Erm, Like, You know…….do you know how many times you say this in one sentence? If you have a script , do a quick run through and then do a pre-record where you’re not reading from the script but still deliver the same content. Now notice how many filler words you use…. If you are just winging it, do a pre-record too and listen back to where and how many times you erm, ahhh, you know and like. Once you start being aware, it’s so much easier to stop yourself from doing it! –
                  Vonnie Lea – Professional Voice Over Artist.

 

The techie stuff:

How much will it cost? Well like anything, you can spend as little or as much as you want. Better equipment, recording space, editing software will all improve your podcast. I am assuming you are reading this you are interesting in starting out, so let’s just look at the best we can do on a minimal budget.

Kit list:

  • Good microphone
  • Set of headphones
  • Quiet space
  • Good WIFI connection for uploading your files
  • Podcasting host
  • Submit your episodes to directories so listeners can find them

Microphone

An essential for your podcast. I would not suggest you use your smartphone mic or laptop mic to record a podcast. As Vonnie said, you don’t need a really expensive mic, but you should invest in a fairly decent one between £30 and £50.  If you buy the cheapest they will produce a lot of background noise and sound quality is important. I suggest spending a little more and

If we are going budget, buy a USB mic rather than an analog (XLR). XLR mics are far better in terms of quality but you will need extra equipment to use it and they are a lot more expensive.

Have a look at these options:

image of desktop mic for podcastingDevine M-Mic USB BK Condenser Microphone: £29.00

 

I’m a big fan of Rode audio equipment, this is a little more expensive but it you are considering a regular podcast it won’t be a bad investment:

Rode microphone for podcastingRode NT-USB Microphone: £125

 

There are obviously many in-between!

Pop-Filter

See the image above? The microphone has what is called a ‘pop filter’ over the front of the mic. Better explained by Vonnie, this eliminates sounds from your speech like popping and also keeps saliva off your mic so it lasts longer. You don’t though necessarily need a pop filter but it will improve the audio quality. You can purchase pop filters separately for around £5.

Headphones:

Why?

  • You can hear yourself clearly so you can monitor your tone to make sure you are sounding how you would like to sound.
  • You will be able to monitor background noise and will waste less time re-recording if you need to re-do your podcast

Are they essential? Well not really, if you are on a super tight budget you could ditch the headphones.

If you do buy headphones, don’t use ear buds. Buy the ones with closed back, (they go around your ear) so that sound doesn’t leak out and gets potentially recorded as background noise, and they are more comfortable.

image of sony headphones for podcastingSony MDR-7506 – Professional Headphones £89.00

 

Audio Editing:

There are a great many tools for editing podcasts, and you will find that all good podcasts need editing to a certain extent. Have a look at these options:

  • If you have a Mac you will have GarageBand, this is free and already to go.
  • Audacity this is apparently a great editing tool (I haven’t used it) again it is free and probably the most popular.
  • Adobe Audition – if like me you have Adobe Creative Suite, you will have this included free. However if you don’t have the full suite, this is paid.

I have found a link to a downloadable Podcaster Starter Kit guide! Thanks to www.podcastinsights.com, it’s a bit more tech heavy than my kit list but super informative.

Podcast Hosting

You are good to go! Get started and practice, have a go at recording and editing your podcast and when you are happy with it you will need somewhere to host it. Have a look at these providers below:

I used Buzzsprout to host my podcast as the service is free if you only upload 2 hours of content each month and you are happy for your episodes to be deleted after 90 days.

  1. Buzzsprout
  2. Transistor
  3. Simplecast

Source: www.podcastinsights.com and the article lists 27 of the best podcasting sites for 2019.

Here are a few things you will need to consider:

  • You will need a name for your podcast. I will call mine Firetree Shout (just for fun)
  • Cover Art – you need to grab attention in the podcast directory so this needs to feature the title of the podcast and have a coloured background.  It needs to be 1400 x 1400 pix, Jpeg or PNG. (ask me, I can create something for you!
    Podcast Description – When someone clicks through to your podcast, they can see all your episodes and your podcast description. This is a short blurb explaining what your podcast is about. It’s obviously important that your description encourages people to listen.
  • You also have a podcast page, this can show up in search results so you should use your business keyword to increase how often your podcast shows up on searches.
  • Finally, Theme music! The best podcasts have a catchy intro and outro theme tune. Be mindful that you can’t just pick any tune you want, music is licensed and it is essential you pay the right licensing fees for music you use. You can search for Free music, just double check usage rights before you use it.

So there we are, how to get started with podcasting. There is a great deal more to learn of course but I hope that has given some of you some inspiration for business communication to grow your brand.

If you want to have a listen to the podcast I created during this blog click the link below:

Firetree podcast cover image with link to podcast
Link To Podcast

 

Next in the series: I will be looking at ‘The Power of Video’ looking at new trends in video marketing and how to communicate with video through social networks.

Firetree Visual Media

I studied Media and Communication at Goldsmiths University and graduated with a first class honours and a film specialism. After graduation I worked in London as a video editor working on documentaries and music videos. My children were born in 2005 which coincided with my fathers retirement. He had trained me as a stills photographer as a child and I set up Firetree Photography to photograph children, weddings and businesses whilst bringing up the children, this has been established now for 13 years. Firetree Visual Media is two years old, we are now a team and deliver professional visual media, both photography and videography to businesses. We also deliver social media marketing and consultancy to businesses in a new, innovative way. Focused on the visual, building narratives through video and photography, delivering media packages and social media strategies that engage on a new level.

More information HERE.

Kyra

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