I was asked to write about how to create a podcast series from just the idea. I thought I would share the process I use and the timeframe I do this in…while I do it. Again. I have created a few podcast series over the past few years, so this time I am documenting the process as it happens. Journaling as this journey happens…
Thursday, February 14
Got an idea. New topic for another potential podcast. Not every idea becomes a podcast.
Researched the topic in the early morning before going to work. Looked up how many people do something on this topic via social media and how many people have talked about this already as a podcast via Google and iTunes.
If I was starting another book, I would search the topic in question on Amazon. If zero to a handful of articles or podcast episodes are found, this means a niche has been found. If there are a few thousand people do this, there is an audience. I like niche topics more than overtalked about topics that we hear about too often.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? (what is this for?)
Who is the audience you want to talk with, about and to? (who is it for?) I rarely write just for me, however, it helps to be curious about the topic. So I create for myself first for the level of satisfaction unless I am creating for someone else… and someone else is paying the bill.
Went on Upwork and assigned someone the task of web scrapping 1000 contacts to reach out to people specific to this topic.
Sunday, February 17
With a boilerplate invite message, I invited over 100 of these people (I did not know) via social media to connect and I would send them the interview questions to ponder in advance with context about the podcast idea to be launched.
Why would I give my idea out so openly? The short answer is: who is going to do the work of implementing this idea into reality and follow through? If there was such a person, this would already be available. “Idea theft” is not a fear. It’s an excuse too many people use to not build/create and then share/sell.
Thursday, February 21
A week after the idea was generated. With the goal of scheduling 60 individual interviews for this podcast series to create a weekly podcast lasting 1 year, I already have 15 interviews scheduled. When people accepted my social media invite that showed they were interested in my idea and might want to be interviewed, I emailed my ask (interview them in the coming weeks) with context about the podcast (what’s it for), a little info about me and potential dates to click on so they could schedule the interview with one email. By this day, I had 12 interviews scheduled for the coming weeks of March. 48 more to go.
Why schedule and record 60 interviews for a year?
Weekly interviews equal 52 interviews for a year, however it is recommended to launch with a few interviews day one. And some interviewees may flake out or not respond to approvals. Not everyone is dependable in case this is something not realized. This is also why I have a 1000 contacts to revert back to if needed.
Thursday, February 28
Recorded my first interview for the EIR podcast.
Friday, March 1
Recorded 3 more interviews for the EIR podcast.
Monday, March 4
Recorded 4 more interviews today. Have 11 more interviews scheduled in March so far. 50 other people interested in being scheduled for an interview this month. Following up on all invites later this week since the goal is 54 interviews recorded, edited, approved and scheduled by April. Still planning to launch in Spring 2019.
Friday, March 8
Have 12 interviews recorded and 12 others scheduled. There are 44 more people interested in being interviewed as I follow up with them each week.
Thursday, March 14
A month after coming up with the idea for the EIR podcast, I have 18 interviews recorded and 6 others scheduled to be interviewed. There are 48 more people interested in being interviewed, however yet to be scheduled. Not all schedules work out for a brief call this month.
Friday, March 22
Interviewed 21 and 13 others scheduled. There are 45 more people interested in being interviewed.
Tuesday, March 26
Interviewed 28 and 9 others scheduled now. There are 32 more people that claim to be interested in being interviewed and following up with them one more time on Wednesday, March 27.
Have 37 people say ‘No’ so far. Thought I would share the fact that the people saying “Yes” [counting recorded and scheduled only as “Yes”. Not counting interested parties] and the people saying “No” is 37 to 37 “Yes”s after a month of work. I hold no emotional attachment nor value to ‘rejection’ since that should be expected as a norm. Just move forward. It is not worth the level of effort to negotiate a “No” to Yes” for this project nor this timeline.
Friday, March 29
Interviewed a total of 35 and 5 scheduled for interviews. There are 30 people that mentioned they were interested in being interviewed, however after 5 follow-ups over 5 weeks…they might not be interviewed. Have a few last interviews scheduled for first week of April and then wrapping up the interview process. Had a few people reschedule several times however if they can’t find 15 minutes for a call within a month, it’s not worth chasing them with more than a few follow-ups.
Thursday, April 4
With all interviews recorded for this project, I am now in editing mode. Bulk review and writing of the edits needed for each episode. These edits will be sent in bulk 10 episodes at a time to an audio editor via Upwork for all audio editing to be done. Seeking an intro and outro (audio clips) for this series for the start and finish of each episode of the EIR Podcast. Need to record a ‘Welcome to EIR podcast’ now that I heard common themes from many EIRs during the interviews.
Friday, April 5
Too much going on to work on this project for now. Vacation is coming up on Tuesday, April 16. Plenty of time to catch up then.
Wednesday, April 17
While on vacation in Santa Rosa, FL, trained two people (Addie and Emmy) to review and write the editing instructions for my podcasts. Walked them through the process with one episode, provided them an emailed template per episode to fill out and gave them most of the episodes to listen and write down instructions in an email. These instructions include links, phrases to start and stop on along with timecodes.
Saturday, April 20
All editing instructions are completed. Still waiting for my intro/outro to be re-recorded.
Tuesday, April 23
Received Intro/Outro. Added this to editing instructions for each episode. Sent first 10 episodes for editing through Upwork.
Thursday, April 25
First 10 episodes edited and received. Sent the second set of 10 episodes for editing. Downloaded images for podcast cover/logo art.
Friday, April 26
20 episodes edited. Sent the rest of episodes for editing on Upwork. Approved the podcast cover art after three iterations and some feedback from a few people.
Sunday, April 28
All 39 episodes edited and sent for approval. This will be my MVP. If I get more along the way, that will be for the next season. Got 2 approvals already. Building the website now and connecting to the distribution for many podcast channels.
Wednesday, May 1
Entrepreneurs understand what an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is. So I am launching a podcast series with first 14 interviews approved to date. 4 other interviews need more edits per the interviewee to be approved. Week 1 will have a welcome episode plus 2 interviews to provide content right away based on those first approved interviews. First approved interviews become the first released interviews.
When do I interview these people?
Since I work 10am-6pm EST for a remote consulting client, I schedule interviews between 7am to 10am EST for people in the Eastern time zone and after 6pm EST for people in the Pacific time zone. A few were interviewed during the weekend if that worked better for schedules.
How long are the interviews?
The actual interview lasts about 4 to 15 minutes. Most calls are 10-15 minutes in duration including the interview itself (when I am recording). I often schedule 15-30 minute calls to work out any technical difficulties.
Changed this to 15-minute calls only since I was not using the second half of the 30-minute time block for calls and saw that as an inefficiency to be eliminated. Don’t need the time break either. I would often have 2 to 4 calls scheduled back to back in the morning or evening. It is a process.
Everything is done in bulk by time blocking tasks daily
As you can see, this is just another exercise in bulk tasking. No start-stop-repeat.
- Bulk research for idea validation.
- Bulk invites. Not sending one invite or email per hour/day, but rather 15-50 per hour.
- Bulk scheduling. Once a day for the month of February.
- Bulk follow up once a day.
- Bulk interviewing. Time blocked to 30 minutes per call to record the 5 to 15 minute individual interview. During the last three weeks, I changed this to a 15-minute time block per call for 5-minute to 10-minute individual interviews.
- Bulk reviewing of raw interview audio to create editing instructions. Insourced this thanks to Addie and Emmy.
- Bulk editing with instructions with Upwork with an offshore resource using different timezones to my advantage so work gets done while I sleep.
- Bulk approvals.
- Bulk scheduling for release after approvals for the next 35 weeks.
And this is how I launched ab 8 month-long series of weekly podcast episodes.
Want a course on this with more details, costs, links and tools used?
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Let me know if you have any questions.