This article will give you a bit of insight into why I’m creating a podcast, my basic workflow and the tools I use.
I’m steadily chugging along toward 30 episodes by the end of Season 2 in early May 2021 of the Mixing Babies And Business™ Podcast (hosted and produced by me, Amy Lynch, from my home during the pandemic).
As one of Future of Good‘s Top 100 Recovery Projects in Canada in 2020, I was asked to share any progress I’ve made since the announcement in November.
I don’t often tend to tally things but over the years, when I’ve felt like I was floating around and not making much traction, I have found it helpful to pause, reflect and note what I’ve done or what’s different over a quarter, six months, year or more.
This podcast is part of what I’ve been working on since I purchased my USB microphone in August 2020 and is recorded and edited from my home ‘studio’.
These mini episodes featuring 10 different guests are a big deal for me because it means:
- 30 opportunities for a person to be influenced, inspired or have their ideas challenged
- 30 different blocks of time a parent can take to tune in and do something for themselves, while still looking after their kids
- 30 times someone can lend me their ear, get to know me and my ‘why’ a bit better and connect virtually
- 30 ways it was possible for me to recreate the intimate conversations which would normally take place during my face-to-face events, within the restrictions of the pandemic we’re all living through
- 10 different individuals for you to (virtually) meet and get to know better, who are all business and community leaders (and parents!)
- 10 unique topics personalized to each guest, their experience, challenges and successes as an entrepreneur and parent
- 10 opportunities for me to have a conversation with another person who made me feel a little less alone during these times (we usually had a laugh, sometimes a cry – mostly me – and I always left feeling fired up to share their story with YOU)
- 10 gifts I got to create and send out to each guest speaker to thank them for being part of this project and giving their time (I love happy mail and sending post)
But it didn’t come without its’ fair share of tech wobbles, glitches, fails and lots of learning on the fly.
It’s all been worth it so far, as I’ve been feeling more connected, inspired and moved to keep creating during these times.
For those of you thinking of starting a podcast or wondering what goes into it, this is what I’ve done with as little tech/systems as I could manage, during the time I have had.
My DIY podcast workflow includes:
- Brainstorm prospective guests (pen and paper, the internet).
- Pitch to each prospective guest (using social media, email, a combination of both).
- Facilitate the interview booking process, once they say ‘yes’, send them a calendar booking link.
- Research each guest and send them customized questions, tech info, recording link, 24-48 hours in advance.
- Interview each guest during a 30-minute time slot (which usually goes to 40 minutes…my longest interview to date has been 60 minutes) – more info on my tech tools and software is below!
- Check my tech – ensure recordings have saved on Dropbox/my hard drive and when necessary, ask the guest for help with a back up (this has happened too many times but every single time, it works out in the end).
- Edit each interview into three mini episodes under 20 minutes each (more info on my tech tools and software is below!) – reduce background noise, pauses, repetition (ums, ahs, so).
- Write show notes as I edit to avoid duplication, followed by a mini script for my guest bios, episode intros and outros.
- Record episode intros and outros in one take, on one file, then chop and edit into each mini episode.
- Produce each episode back to back to ensure similar sound quality, save as project for back up, export as .wav and .mp3 files.
- Upload each episode to my podcast hosting platform (more info on that below!) and schedule it for release on a certain date and time.
- Promote each episode (more marketing info is below!) and share it with each guest, with customized artwork, show notes and promotional collateral, linked from a personal ‘thank you’ email.
- Send each guest a thank you care package and handwritten note via snail mail.
- Repurpose content in future (quotes, transcripts, show notes, graphics – on my marketing to-do list!)
Yes, it seems like a bit of a long extensive list but I’m not quite a year into this podcasting thing and in the past few months I’ve had people pitching me to be a guest on my podcast.
Which is a bit different to my usual set-up where I’m sourcing guest speakers for events and now this new podcast.
My DIY podcasting tools include:
Scheduling and episode promotions for each guest:
- Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive (all free);
- a paid version of Dropbox to store my original audio, final files, artwork, show notes; and
- a free version of YouCanBook.Me to schedule interviews.
Hardware to record and edit with:
- I have a Mac computer;
- a pair of AudioTechnica headphones for more cushion when I’m editing;
- a pair of earbuds with a mic included as back up;
- a Blue Snowball microphone (under $80 CAD) which has a USB connector and works well with the software I use; and
- I also use a stack of my books to prop up my microphone at a good angle.
- A free version of Zencastr to record audio only calls with separate tracks for each guest (but they recently added video too!); and
- a paid version of Zoom Pro (for backup audio and to see the guest if they wish to join on video), avoiding the 40-minute time limit if we go over.
Editing, production and recording intros/outros/promos:
- A free version of Audacity editing software (I learned this as a Broadcast Journalism student but needed to refresh my skills, YouTube videos and Google searches did the trick); and
- the TextEdit app to type show notes and scripts as I go.
Publishing and distributing podcast episodes:
- A paid Buzzsprout account ($12 USD/month) which helps populate it across the podcast platforms, create audiovisual clips, stats, upload transcripts, promote it and more but I mainly use the basics for now and pay so I can keep my episodes uploaded as the free plan deletes them after a period of time.
Marketing each episode:
- a free Canva account (I have since upgraded to a paid account but used the free version since 2014 – it is great!) which I make episode, podcast and promotional artwork with;
- free social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), where I try to share a preview clip of each episode and upload it to my YouTube Channel too;
- a paid WordPress website for mixingbabiesandbusiness.com where I link to the podcast and am gradually publishing episode posts (there’s always more I can do!);
- a free version of MailChimp, which I’ve been using since 2015 to send my newsletters about Work + Life (subscribe to those monthly ones here: http://bit.ly/AmyMaureenLynchNews and bi-weekly parent-friendly professional development news, subscribe to those here: http://bit.ly/BabiesBizBreakfast); and
- if I’m doing speaking engagements or guest posts, I also try to mention it or link to it as a resource for people who are parents to get inspired.
What do you think?
Are you going to be starting a podcast or pitching to get interviewed on others in 2021? Has this article given you some ideas?
What about your workflow?
If you have a podcast or work on editing/producing others, do you have any special tools or routines you like to stick to?
Please share in the comments below if you do! ⬇️
Thanks for reading (and listening if you’ve been tuning into the podcast):
Stay well everyone,
– Amy (+ Family) xx
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