Story Studio Network hosts their first-ever LinkedIn audio live!

We decided it was high time we started sharing in AUDIO FORM! So if you can’t catch up live on LinkedIn, then be sure to check back here on the SSN website and blog roll where we’ll make the recordings available via this special RSS podcast feed.

In this first ever edition of Podcast News by Story Studio Network, SSN CEO Erin Trafford and Managing Producer Dave Trafford discuss the essential things one should consider before starting a podcast.

TLDR (or listen) summary -> Three Key Considerations Before Starting a Podcast:

  • Time: Understand the development and production time needed before launching. On average, it takes two to three months of production and development before a podcast is ready to launch. Ensure you have a realistic time frame in mind and avoid rushing the process.
  • Audience: It’s crucial to know your target audience and where they hang out. Instead of a broad approach, focus on specific audience personas. Understand their needs and how you can cater to them. A podcast should be a gift basket curated for a particular audience member.
  • Support: Evaluate the skills gaps in your team. Determine areas where you might need support, such as editing or storyboarding. It’s essential to have a clear storyboard that keeps the listener at the center of the content.

Transcript of Episode

ERIN: [00:00:00]

ERIN: All right. Welcome in everybody. This is our first ever official what is it even called? A LinkedIn audio live.

DAVE: Can we, can we, can we do this right? Yeah, we sure can. Try this. An original from Story Studio Network. How about that? All right, there we go. I was just dying to push a button.

ERIN: I know, I know. Uh, well, welcome in everybody.

ERIN: Thanks so much for taking some time out of your, I’m sure, very busy day to spend, you know, 15 or 20 minutes with us here at Story Studio Network. Um, our intention with LinkedIn audio events and LinkedIn audio lives is to offer you many lessons or many things to consider through the day as you’re thinking about your podcast, perhaps your marketing, your branding, looking ahead to next year.

ERIN: So, you know, we’re going to do this weekly. 20 minutes and we’re going to capture all of this. Did you hit the big green button, Dad, before we began? I did. I did. Okay, [00:01:00] so we’re going to capture all of this in case you need to deck out or you can’t, um, actually attend live. We do have the intention of putting all of these up on a podcast feed for future reference, so no need to worry about that.

ERIN: So welcome in. I see folks filtering into the room. First time using this technology. So it’s kind of neat to see everyone’s face. Um, my name is Erin Trafford. I’m the CEO and co-founder here at Story Studio Network. And my, I don’t know what to call you. My partner in crime, my partner in lives. Sure. Who are you today?

DAVE: Um, well, today I will be Dave. Okay. But there are times when I’m called DT or Dad, so it kind of gets thrown around a lot, but um, either way. Um. You know, just kind of walking through some of the fun in the games that we have had and, um, the cool experiences that we’ve got. But we keep coming back to these, uh, sort of the basics and the questions that people put before us and in front of our team.

DAVE: And, uh, I think, you know, it’s funny how often we’ll [00:02:00] get asked a question and then all of a sudden, hmm, a lot of people asked that question. Maybe we should, maybe we should be, you know, framing that for, uh, those people who are podcast curious.

ERIN: Yeah, so today’s intention is again, I like to call these the quick and the dirties.

ERIN: We’re going to get in there, we’re going to talk about the three key considerations that you might want to think about if a podcast is on your radar. So you might have already decided you want a podcast. Great. You may already have a podcast. Great. You may be sitting there being what I call podcast curious.

ERIN: So no matter what, you’re going to take something away because we went to the team on this. to figure out what these three key things are that every single client or prospect that we’ve worked with over the last two and a half years, um, have all come up against. So we’re gonna share these with you today.

ERIN: Um, and You know, if you have questions, I’m pretty sure because of the [00:03:00] way LinkedIn works, you, I think there’s a raise your hand function on here. So click all the buttons, guys. If we can answer your question, we will. This is our first time using this platform. So, so I’ll just name the three considerations, uh, Dad, before we jump in and then we’ll unpack them a little bit one at a time.

ERIN: Because there’s no priority here. There isn’t one that’s more important than the other, but all three sort of need to exist in your mind before I’d say you, you should move forward with your podcast. So the three considerations are time, audience and what I have called support. Do you feel we nailed that one, dad?

DAVE: So snacks aren’t on that list?

ERIN: I, no, I don’t recommend snacking while recording your podcast.

DAVE: But you know, I think that’s pretty, pretty good start. Yeah.

ERIN: So, so let’s go one by one, [00:04:00] um, and, and we’ll draw on some of the learnings that we’ve had at StoryStudio working with brands, organizations, entrepreneurs, um, as, as we go, anecdotes, data, and again, feel free to pose us questions in the chat, but so time we, I often say to our team, really, really, really what we’re doing when we’re helping our clients manage their podcast production is really understand.

ERIN: Time and space. So, What are some of the elements, Dad, that you see being the managing producer, the executive producer on many of our branded shows? How does time factor into that key consideration before you say yes to a show?

DAVE: Well, I, the just overarching, overwhelming response to a lot of folks who come to it for the first time is that, Oh yeah, I’ve got the time.

DAVE: We really want to commit to it. And then you get into the project and you realize, wow, this is pretty granular. And so it can, And [00:05:00] I don’t say this just a sort of a flag if you’ve got a team that’s committed to the production of your show, they need to be aware of the amount of time that it’s going to take and you need to kind of upfront say, is this off the side of your desk time, or is this the kind of thing that’s going to have your undivided attention?

DAVE: Because a lot of folks I’ve talked to over the years, and you know, some of the early clients that we had in terms of branded shows, um, they were all gung ho and ready to do it. And then by, you know, you get halfway through the project and they’re exhausted. And so from our perspective, I’ve learned that we need to Be really clear with them.

DAVE: Here’s what it will take. You know, we can’t just say yes today, show tomorrow, next week, that in fact, there is a, uh, an important production development time that we require upfront. And then. We start chasing guests. So there’s the time components change and the commitments change as we work our [00:06:00] way through the projects, but it’s really important for us.

DAVE: I think now, based on our experience to be able to say, here’s what it’s going to look like over the next eight weeks, 12 weeks and so on. And then I think it’s, they’re in a pretty good place. And I think most of the folks we’re working with now have had the benefit of the experience we’ve had over, you know, since 2017 or whenever I started doing this.

DAVE: Yeah.

ERIN: Yeah, I can see our COO, Jaime Nickerson, is listening to us right now, and I know that she’s like, uh, Dave, please don’t tell anybody that they can come to us today and expect a podcast next week. Please don’t say that that’s true, because that is not true. So a few questions that you might want to ask yourself, because really what we want to give you are considerations.

ERIN: So if you’re taking notes or if you’re listening to this, uh, later on down the line, here are some questions you really want to think about as you’re making these decisions regarding time. Thank you. When do you want to launch and. And I say this because, yes, it can be a bit of a moving target, right?

ERIN: You’re going to say, we want to launch in November. That’s [00:07:00] okay. You don’t have to have it on November 17th of this date at this time. You need to have a sense of when you want to launch because there is that development time that is required. And to give you a sense, I think we actually have a graphic of it and we may have posted it on our LinkedIn page as like one of those carousel PDFs.

ERIN: In general, there is two to three months production and development that goes on behind the scenes at SSN before we can say the launch is we’re ready to go on launch. So you want to back time that and give yourself time space and breath because the worst thing that you can do for your podcast is rush the process.

ERIN: If you can give it enough time to breathe and be creative and fun and allow for a bit of flexibility in there, um, the end product is just going to be far and away better than if you rushed. So that’s one consideration for time is when in your marketing [00:08:00] budget would your marketing plan rather would you like to have this into the world and consumable by your new audience.

ERIN: The other question is how much time, like Dad, you touched on this, which is how much time do you have to commit to getting this up and off the ground? Because a podcast really is a little bit of, I dare, I don’t like to use the term rollercoaster because that makes it feel like it’s emotional, but there are going to be times where there’s a lot of time required, like in development, there’s a lot of brain dumping, there’s a lot of visioning.

ERIN: Storyboarding. And then there tends to be a point in the production process when everything just kind of falls into lockstep and there’s a process and everything just starts rolling down the hill and it’s a lot less of your time. So you have to think about time both micro and macro. I think. Did I miss anything there on that before I move on to the second consideration?

ERIN: No, but I

DAVE: think that’s, [00:09:00] that probably is the number one obstacle that most people will bring up, right? I’d love to do it, but I don’t have the time. So the degree to which, you know, we can be clear around it and understanding it and we’ve, we’ve found, Oh, okay. I get it now. And when you put it in those terms, in terms of the process and, um, and the workflow and how it will ebb and flow.

DAVE: Yeah. Yes. Then we can kind of work it into your. Your project and you know, you can carry on the way you go.

ERIN: All right. So second consideration, this one is, um, I said there was no priority, but this one I’m kind of going to just put a little bit at the top, a little bit, um, audience. Audience. Have you considered audience for your show?

ERIN: And this is beyond like all Canadians who may want to buy my widget. Your podcast should have significant audience research behind it. And why is that the [00:10:00] case? Because your podcast is audacious. likely the most decentralized piece of content that your brand is going to put out. And so to mitigate that, you need to have a really clear idea of who it is you’re talking to.

ERIN: In some cases with our clients, we often suggest they, they name a fake avatar. I’m like, who are you talking to? Are you talking to Jessica today? Who’s Jessica? And I know we’ve all done these exercises before, right? You need to really understand who is that audience. that you’re crafting this show for. I like to think of it as, imagine you’re quite literally packaging up a gift basket.

ERIN: You wouldn’t just like put a gift basket together would suit everybody, right? You would curate a gift basket for a specific person based on their needs. A new mom, someone who’s getting married, someone who got a new job, someone who got a new house. It was going to look slightly different, right? So, I [00:11:00] want you to think of, have you really considered what the gift basket of your podcast is going to be for that specific audience member?

ERIN: And then ask yourself the following questions. I can see our strategy VP, Andrea, is here listening as well, and she’s probably dying to jump in, but I took these notes from her notes because she says this to our clients all the time in the strategy sessions is, where are those people hanging out? And if you know where they’re hanging out, how do you plan to reach them and make this really authentic invitation to them over and over again to become listeners to your show?

ERIN: We hear often that growing a podcast audience is very challenging compared to other media, and to that I agree. So the key to growing that audience is knowing where your ideal audience is. And being committed to continuously making those invitations to them to listen to your show. Yeah.

DAVE: And I, I think it’s [00:12:00] important as well to use the, the gift basket analogy.

DAVE: If you’re giving the gift basket to the new mom, well, the new brother or the new dad might need a gift basket too. And it’s going to be a little different, but there’ll be some overlap there. So when we talk about the audience, what part of your. Larger audience is your podcast serving. Where does it fit in that audience strategy?

DAVE: Right? And I think it’s easy to lose sight of that because people can think of the podcast in and of itself lives by itself. And that’s some, that’s not only a mistake, it’s a lost opportunity. If you don’t kind of think of it three dimensionally, who’s around me? What else, how else, how can I turn someone else’s head just slightly over here and they can be a more engaged.

DAVE: Client or consumer or whatever it is you’re going after, but how does it fit into the big picture, the overarching audience that you’ve already got, you’ve got out there. How can you extend your reach into your audience that perhaps you already have to [00:13:00] as a consideration?

ERIN: So time, audience, and then the last one, I’ve called it support.

ERIN: And we kind of touched on this when we talked about time a little bit, but I think this is important to reemphasize if you’re sitting there looking at 2024 and, you know, cause here’s the reality. Um, I’ve had, I don’t know how many dozens of conversations in the last couple of weeks with folks either here in Halifax who run organizations in Toronto, across the country, and I would say 9 times out of 10, they have said, you know what, like in our executive meetings or in our marketing meetings or whatever it is, we’ve really like this idea of this podcast keeps coming up and 2024 could be a really great time.

ERIN: But we just don’t know what that means for us. And what happens then is if you don’t know what that means. then you end up just not moving forward because, you know, a confused mind doesn’t move. [00:14:00] So, one of the ways to move forward is to evaluate your own skills gaps on your team. And not in a judgmental way, but to think, who do we have on our team?

ERIN: What capacity do they have? Um, And where do we need to backfill? What, and that’s another way of asking yourself, what support would we realistically need to get this show out into the world in a way that we would feel proud to have it out in the world? Do you need help with editing? I’m going to say 99.

ERIN: 99 percent of people need help on the edit.

DAVE: Yes. Oh, yeah. The production side of things scares people, in fact, and in some cases, Oh, I don’t know anything about this. I’m going to be, you know, uh, it’s going to sound bad or it’s going to embarrass me or my brand and, and that can get in the way in a hurry. I mean, one of my earliest, uh, you know, guys I work with is Tony Chapman.

DAVE: And if you listen to Tony’s podcast, Chatter That Matters, we [00:15:00] launched that at his kitchen table. Back in 2019, seriously, and, and, and Tony was all in, man. He wanted, he got his little, uh, H6 zoom recorder and he bought his, uh, SM58 microphones and he got his, um, editing software and he says, okay, now show me how to do this.

DAVE: And so we spent three days working and I showed him how to do the basics and all of them, the end of the three days says, wow, that’s a lot of work. Can you do it for me? So, so there was a guy who, and his show is very successful now, right? So, but he’s done exactly what you said, Erin. He, you know. This is the lane I work in here.

DAVE: Here’s what I need to support this show to make it go.

ERIN: Yeah. And I have a philosophy. I think this was from the get go when we founded the company is like there’s a world where no client ever touches a piece of audio because I firmly believe that nobody other than our wonderful, beautiful audio savant nerds, I call them because I adore them and I love them.

ERIN: Nobody else wants to touch that audio. You shouldn’t [00:16:00] have to touch it unless you really want if you want to become an audio editor. Okay, great. Otherwise, put that down as a skills gap that you need to fill. Um, but the other one that comes up and this one is one that creeps up on folks, especially I’m going to say the entrepreneurs.

ERIN: With love, because I am an entrepreneur myself, you think you know what a storyboard needs to look like because you’re so skilled at talking about what you know, right? You can sit there and rhyme off your expertise in a 10 page bullet point list. I can talk about this, this, this, this, this. I have case studies to back all of this up.

ERIN: And then you make this bullet point list and you go out into the world and that’s the storyboard that you have for your show. And. That’s okay, but… What ends up happening is the show isn’t optimized for listenability. It ends up being a little bit more about you than it is about the listener. [00:17:00] And 10 out of 10 times, when we work with entrepreneur creators who come to our team, our producers will look at that big list because there’s huge value there, but we’ll rearticulate it and we’ll move things around and we’ll optimize for what we call a storyboard that keeps the listener front and center.

ERIN: And it always gets the message out, but it’s usually stronger. So consider whether you also do, maybe, you might not need full support on this, but maybe a little bit of support on how to editorialize your brilliance. And put it into a real storyboard form that’s easy for you to follow, and then that’s also easy for the listeners to engage with.

DAVE: Yeah, we call it the curse of knowledge. You’ve got so much rattling around in your head, and you know, you’re an expert, you’re a subject matter expert, and I’ve got news for you. We suffer from that at our end, to some degree, when we kind of look at this stuff, but what we’re able to do Because of the DNA on the team, we’re able to take those [00:18:00] bullet points and actually draw the story out of you.

DAVE: And we’re able to do that and put your audience right in the middle of the show. And that is, you know, if you’ve got 10 people who think this show is about me, they’re going to tell other people. So there’s real engagement value there. So it’s great to have subjects. It’s great to have a topic, but how do we actually translate that into eyeballs, if you were audio eyeballs and ears that make sure that I’m, you’ve got an engaged audience and okay.

DAVE: Uh, now that’s where people often, uh, struggle for sure. So, and sometimes we just need to stand you up and off you go. There’s your 12 storyboards and, um, you know, carry on, we’ll listen to the

ERIN: show. Yeah, and that’s what I mean. You don’t have to complicate it. You don’t have to say, I need all the support. I need a little support.

ERIN: You can just say, you know what, I might need to ask that question. What could support in that rain, in that area look like? So, I’m just going to recap here because I do have a timer [00:19:00] running so that we stay on time today. Uh, it looks like we have a That’s not like me. I know. I’ve learned over 40 years how to produce you.

ERIN: Um, we have about two minutes left on the clock here. And, uh, so just to recap, three considerations, three, there are many considerations, but these would be the three I would put at the top of the list. If you’re talking with your team about should we start a podcast or you’re trying to create a list of questions to even.

ERIN: Ask a potential podcast producer. Ask questions about timing, right? When do you want to launch? How much time do you realistically have? Um, I’ll drop a little nugget. We often say for the first three months you need about an hour 75 minutes a week, and then it gets easier. But do you have that extra hour or 75 minutes a week for the next two to three months to commit to making this show what it needs to be?

ERIN: The next consideration would be audience. Have you done at [00:20:00] least a little bit of research using your own market research, case studies? Client testimonials, conversations about who your ideal audience is for that show, where they’re hanging out, and if you have a plan to reach them. If the answer is I don’t have a plan, that’s okay, but I want you to at least consider it because it will come into play when you jump into producing your show.

ERIN: And then the last on the list would be this idea of support. So have you really evaluated your own skills gaps? What would make it feel really supportive for you? If you never touch a piece of audio, if you were able to log in and just know, okay, I’m on episode six and I know exactly what I’m talking about.

ERIN: And here are, you know, the backgrounders on my guests. for you. Is that how you want this to feel? If that’s the case, then bring that forward when you’re having some of those discovery conversations. Um, so that, those are the three things.

DAVE: And snacks is not on the list, right? Snacks is

ERIN: not on the list. Are [00:21:00]

DAVE: we back next week doing this again?

DAVE: Because there’s a lot more to talk about, you

ERIN: know. There is so much more to talk about. So I think next week I’m going to set up the invite again and we’re going to talk about calculating the ROI on your podcast because I know that’s a bit of a touchy hot button issue. So we’ll do that. If you’re still in the room or if you’re checking this out later on down the line once we get this up on the feed, just a reminder, we do have a brand new resource.

ERIN: available at Story Studio Network. The link to it should be in the event description or the show notes, depending on wherever you’re listening to this. Um, it is a in depth breakdown of how branded podcasts work. There’s tons of data in there. Um, so I encourage you to print it out or send the PDF to your team.

ERIN: If you’re having a meeting and you’re really trying to chew on, is a podcast right for us? Um, there should be some really good little nuggets in there. And of course, we’re always here, so you can email or DM us. If you’d like to chat further. Something’s beeping at me now. Oh. Is that their timer?

DAVE: It might be.

DAVE: All right. Then I guess we should go. See you next

ERIN: week. Bye guys. See [00:22:00] you next week. This is SSN. Story Studio Network.

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