It’s About the Content, Not the Equipment
Daniel J. Lewis is a podcaster and consultant who teaches others how to start and improve their podcasts. He is the award-winning host of The Audacity to Podcast and several others, including the Ramen Noodle, his first podcast, started back in 2007.
As a seasoned veteran, Daniel has seen how podcasting has become more of a serious medium over the years. When it was first starting out, there were a few people, like Leo Laporte, with radio or public speaking experience who knew how to do it well. But the majority were just people talking about various topics, without any real flow or finesse. There are still plenty of “amateurs” in the field, many of whom are successful, but the stakes have been raised considerably by large companies like NPR and Gimlet Media which pour seemingly endless money and resources into their podcasts. And the podcast audience is steadily growing as well. It’s no wonder more and more people are trying to get into the podcasting game.
The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of money to create a high-quality podcast that appeals to a large audience. It’s not about the equipment. It’s about the content. (highlight to tweet)
“The main thing you need to focus on as a podcast is this: What is the message you’re going to share? How are you going to create this content that is either helpful or entertaining or could even be both of those combined? Even celebrities have trouble building an audience if they don’t have good content.”
Daniel recommends buying the cheapest of these three microphones to get started:
These microphones all plug directly into a computer, and you can download any number of free software options to record and edit your podcast (or even use what’s included with your computer). You don’t necessarily even need to do any editing. Most um’s, er’s, and uh’s are a natural part of a conversation and your audience won’t be distracted by them. If you do choose to edit, you only really need to cut big distractions, like uncomfortably long pauses or your dog barking uncontrollably in the middle of a recording.
“Don’t focus on trying to be perfect. That’s the thing that will kill any enthusiasm out there. Focus on presenting it well enough for people to receive your communication and you can improve as you go along.”
Goals Without Actionable Plans Are Just Dreams
Regardless of your industry, organization, or talents, you’ve got to do more than dream up your goals. Without actionable steps built and implement to reach those goals, you’re going to be disappointed. “I can have a goal of making a million dollars this year, but if I don’t break that down into daily actionable steps, I’ll never reach it.” (highlight to tweet)
Daniel would break down the goal of making $1 million into digestible chunks. To make a million in a year, you’d have to make $2,739 per day. So then the question becomes, “How am I going to generate $2,700 today? If I can do it today, maybe I can do it tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.” Just sitting around waiting for that $1 million idea to hit isn’t working toward your goal. “That’s just waiting to get lucky with the goal, and you’ll never reach your goal that way.”
What did you want to be when you grew up?
“I think that every kid wants to be a hero. So what I remember most being a kid is wanting to be the secret agent, the superhero guy.” Daniel wanted to be a merged together version of MacGyver, Stringfellow Hawke from “Airwolf,” the guy from “Knight Rider,” and Sam Beckett from “Quantum Leap.”
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