As a podcast producer and podcast host, I love to look back and see if I did any kind of learning this year.
After doing this podcasting thing for 9 plus years, and learning from my own personal podcasting experience as well as having a chance to work with podcasters here at Libsyn, I gotta say, we podcasters get STUCK on the stuff that we are used to!
We tend to stick to what we know.
We tend to stick to what feels familiar.
Once we’ve gotten something that works, oh goodness, do we hang on for dear life!
Sometimes this is awesome and helps us keep podcasting like nobody’s business.
But sometimes, it hinders our ability to grow and tends to keep us stuck.
This year has been a year of staying open, revisiting workflows, systems and possibly, bad habits.
Here’s what came up for me.
Resisting the upgrade
I resisted upgrading to GarageBand 10 for assembling my podcast. The news that the “podcast track” option had been removed instantly made me say ‘NO.’
Garageband 10 was released in October 2013. It had it’s first major update in March 2014.
I FINALLY updated sometime in June after making sure that the essential was still present for me.
I didn’t upgrade for myself, in fact the only reason that I upgraded was because in the She Podcasts community we had so many new podcasters with new Macs that no longer supported the “old” GarageBand.
I didn’t even make the choice for myself! I was forced into it because the community needed it.
Upgraded kicking and screaming because I had a super awesome workflow and I didn’t want to make it harder on myself!
And I should have updated sooner.
I wasted doing things faster, in a more effective manner, with better quality because I wasn’t willing to give up what had previously worked.
Needless to say, I’m super happy with GarageBand 10.
Tips for upgrading – period:
- Do your research – don’t do something because every one else is doing it, and don’t do something because you are a giant pain in the behind and stuck in your own ways. There must be a middle ground there. Own up to it
- If at all possible upgrade using a non-essential – in this case – computer. I had the luxury of being able to upgrade GarageBand 10 onto the family iMac. I don’t do my editing in there, so I was able to upgrade without having to pay for it if anything went wrong. I was then easily able to upgrade onto editing computer, my MacBook Air.
- Be ready for the upgrade! – Make sure that your hardware (and sometimes complimentary software) is ready for whatever you’ll put it through. There are some Macs out there that cannot upgrade to the latest OS, and therefor cannot upgrade to Garageband 10. Software like Soundsoap (now Soundsoap 4) didn’t immediately work, so if that was a big part of your workflow, not upgrading was a better choice.
I’m one of those podcasters that are PROUD to be a podcaster. I’m proud that I do everything. I’m proud that I can troubleshoot and work on troublesome audio, and continue to learn about the entirety of what it means to be a podcaster.
I can do it myself thank you very much!
I’ve figured out audio production (at least the minimal basics. I’m by no means an audio engineer.)
I’ve figured out how to do essential RSS feed troubleshooting.
I pour my blood, sweat and tears onto the shownotes.
I’ve made enough mistakes to pay my dues.
after a lot of convincing and pushing from my partner in crime, she finally convinced me to outsource.
Gah! I know right???
Mind you, she convinced me to outsource She Podcasts, not The Feed (duh, The Feed is my job job.)
First it was outsourcing, the posting of the shownotes. I still did them all. I would simply send and HTML and RTF file to ‘our team,’ and they would post it all on the blog, create the corresponding newsletter and even social media updates.
I have to admit, that it was nice to just send everything in an email, and then having it all taken care of afterwards.
The bad part was that I HAD to get finished waaaaay early with the shownotes, like minimum 2 days in advance! And that, dear podcasters, is hard.
I’m usually always doing the last bit of shownotes the day before we go live with the episode!
That forced me to have to get them done sooner, and instead of feeling like ‘Whew, I’m so glad that someone is helping me out’ it felt more like ‘Oh no! I have to get the shownotes done because I don’t want the team to have to be doing this the night before. That’s just not fair.’
I guess from a lack of procrastination, getting things done point of view, it was fine.
From a more calm and less stressed point on view, it didn’t work out too well. I always felt like I had a deadline looming over my head.
We decided to let go of the help with the shownotes and such and I haven’t missed the support.
What really made a difference was outsourcing our audio production.
OMG. It continues to be the most awesome thing ever.
I still LOVE to edit audio. I really do. I again, was kicking and screaming before I let it go.
<I’m sensing a podcast toddler theme here…>
I felt like I wasn’t really a podcaster if I wasn’t editing my audio!
But I have to say, having someone that loves our show, knows both of us well, knows our content, and cares about what we do is priceless.
He brings a lot to the table beyond better audio production.
Surprise bonus! Now we get key insights and wisdom from a slightly removed third party.
It is so great to get ideas, advice, and creative vision from someone that cares about our work.
LOVE to work with an audio producer!!!
What’s my take-away from that? Up-leveling your production does not mean that you have to do everything yourself and sometimes it’s not just about the way the audio sounds.
It also does not mean that you are weak, or don’t care if you get help, but it does have to be the right kind of help.
If I could give advice to myself about starting the outsourcing process, It would be to make choices based on time, lifestyle and care.
- Does the support make more work or more stress for you?
- Does the support release more space to you to work on content?
- Does the support care about your podcast?
- Does the support get you and your vision?
I have to say that I would trade more time and more work for myself if I could get less support from someone that truly cares about the podcast vs lots of time saved from someone that isn’t at least a tiny little bit of a fan.
Last bits of podcasting wisdom
- Refine your own powers of discernment. You have got to start asking if what you are doing now you are doing because it’s comforable and you’ve always done it that way – or it truly is the best choice that you can make for your workflow. These may line up, but they may not. If they don’t, suck it up, and be uncomfortable for a while.
- Systems are life savers: the templates that I’ve created for my workflow continually made post-production totally doable. I’ve created a template for everything that I do over and over again, from editing, to social media, to shownotes.
And that is all.
I cannot wait to see where podcasting goes this year. I’m so excited and open to take the big ride.
What have been some lessons that you learned this year about the way that you podcast? Easy or hard lessons to learn?
Give it up! I’d love to know!