In this Stretch Goals Quick Hit, Scott and I are going to be talking about the lessons that we learned in our first 90 days of podcasting.
Robert: In this Stretch Goals Quick Hit, Scott and I are going to be talking about the lessons that we learned in our first 90 days of podcasting.
Scott: That’s right.
Robert: This is the Stretch Goals Podcast, where each week, we’ll share insights and lessons learned based on our experiences as entrepreneurs. We’ll challenge you to create ambitious goals as you start and grow your business. I’m your Host, Robert Dickerson.
Scott: And, I’m Scott Davis. Okay, one thing off the top of your head right now, what was the first thing you learned?
Robert: Don’t do podcasts. Podcasts take a long time to grow an audience.
Scott: Yes. Yes, they do.
Robert: I think the most beneficial thing, to me, is just kind of talking to you about these different topics, and so I feel like I’ve kind of gotten a lot out of it, just from our conversations.
Robert: So, I feel like that’s really something that I’ve kind of learned. Just, I guess, going back to podcasting in general, is I feel like the feedback loop there, we have a good number of listeners, but there’s not a lot of feedback from the listeners. So, we could be talking about all these different topics, and hopefully, people are finding them interesting and helpful, but that feedback loop’s not really there to get, to have a conversation with people.
Scott: Yeah, so first things first. I mean, we started this podcast just to have a conversation. Obviously, we’ve known each other a long time, but we started talking about tech and just realized that the natural conversation is probably something that people could relate to, so that’s why we’re here. Whether or not people enjoy it, we don’t know. Because, like you said, we’re not getting a lot of great feedback. We did get one really excellent comment on iTunes from a listener, and it was very flattering. It was good to hear that we are hitting certain topics with people, but for me, like what I’ve learned, yeah, it’s hard to get an audience.
But, we’re not in it to get a million listeners, that’s not really why we did it. I mean, if it comes, great. But, it’s not what we set out to do. But, it’s a learning experience and we’re actually enjoying it. What I’ve seen is there’s no tools that make any of podcasting easy. Number one. You should be able to like just record something, upload it to a website, and it should put everything out there for you. So that, I mean, there are some services out there that kind of do that, but there’s not a one-size fits all solution. The second thing is, and you know what I’m going to say probably, is the lack of visibility into analytics.
Robert: Oh, yeah.
Scott: I mean, we’re sourcing data from iTunes, and SoundCloud, and Google Analytics. I mean, there’s no definitive place to find out just how many people are listening. We get, SoundCloud for example. We get number of listens and number of downloads. Well, what’s the difference? Someone’s downloading it offline, I guess. Okay, cool. But, did they actually listen to it? So it’s just all these different things. There’s no like one-size fits all solution that gives you everything you need.
Robert: Yeah, you can’t really tell if someone started the episode and then they got to a certain point, and they just stopped-
Scott: And, stopped. Yeah.
Robert: Because they didn’t like the material, but I feel like we’ve gotten … When I talk to people about it that listen to it, I get some good feedback. I get, on different episodes, they tell me they like this, or they didn’t like that, or they liked the conversational tone of our episode. I think those are all valuable insights, but yeah. You’re right. I mean, it is hard to get analytics on the episodes and it’s also hard to kind of push that out there. Especially if you don’t have an audience to start out.
I mean, we each have small audiences, but we don’t have a million Twitter followers or anything, so it’s we’re organically trying to grow that through Twitter, through Product Hunt, so really trying to put the podcast out there on as many forums as possible, and really trying to tweak the headlines that match, right. Podcasting is similar to blogging or any other kind of medium. It’s like you have to get people engaged based on your headline, so that they’ll listen to it.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. We’ve found that having an engaging title is bringing in an audience, because you want to get those clicks. I mean, when you’re putting this thing out there on social media, it’s got to be a headline-grabber, or you can’t get that click. I mean, there’s so much saturation of news and links everywhere, that it’s too difficult to do that. Like you, I’ve gotten good feedback from people, but a lot of times, I feel like that feedback is, “Oh, man. Your podcast is awesome,” just because they know me and they’re trying to be nice.
Scott: So, I sort of take it with a grain of salt, but I do, when I go back and listen to it, or I look at some of the quotes on our transcription and things like that. I actually see the benefit, and I’ve been sharing the podcast in different places. Out on Reddit and some of these podcast communities, and different places. We’re getting hits and traction from those sources, but I got to be honest. I mean, if we were to have five or 10 times the viewership that we do right now, it would be a full-time job for me to market it. I mean, to get to that point. I mean, at a certain point, then the audience takes care of itself, but to scale it up is a lot of work.
Robert: Yeah, I mean, even one of the things that I learned, which I kind of thought it was going to be this way going in, but it takes a lot of time to produce the episode. I mean, what we do is we, Scott, and I, you and I sit down for about an hour and we usually record two different episodes, and then we have kind of a show producer, and that mixes the episodes. Then I take that and transcribe it and update the website and push that out and then you handle after we release the episode pushing out all the marketing so for each episode it takes a couple hours of work to … You record it, to mix it, to get it out there, to market it, and really, marketing is a critical part of it.
I mean, you have to continuously get it out there in multiple mediums to do that, so if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, just think about the time commitment and podcasting is not something that you just do a couple of times. It has to be consistently done, and our goal is to, we enjoy doing it, and we both said, “Hey, this is going to take probably a year or more. We just have to consistently keep putting out episodes.” I think we’re finding now that we started to gain a little bit of traction, where people are coming back and listening to our older episodes, right.
They might come across a Tweet, or they come across something. Or, a lot of times podcasting, it’s not like, it’s not the person will go listen to it immediately, right. They are going to maybe put it in their backlog or download it to their phone, right. So, when they’re working out later, they’ll some across it. It’s not something that immediately happens. It’s something that might be delayed. And then, when they found an episode they like, they might go through a couple different ones. We’ve seen that, as well, where people on the weekends will listen to a bunch of different episodes.
Scott: Yeah, it’s one of those things. It’s almost like a sales funnel. Where you could do everything right, but you’re not necessarily going to get an immediate impact on those analytics. Because, like you said, someone’s downloading it. Overcast will have like the last three episodes from each podcast, and you might be behind, you had a busy week. So, you don’t listen to them for a few weeks. It’s hard to really know, for sure, in real time what people like and what they don’t like, and all that good stuff.
Robert: Well, I mean, and episodes might not resonate with people, as well. I mean, I find that with my own podcast listening, that even though I’ll really like the podcast, some episodes are just like, “Oh, that doesn’t really resonate with me, so I don’t want to spend time listening to that.” We’ve been experimenting a lot with like different types of episodes, and we’ve also, with the Quick Hits, tried to create like shorter episodes to people to kind of see what resonates.
What’s the length of the episode that people like, and we tried interviews. We did the interview episode to try and get feedback on that. I’m excited about where this is going to go. We’re going to try different types of episodes. We’ve got a lot of different ideas that we want to try. A lot of different people that we want to bring on to help entrepreneurs out there grow their business.
Scott: Yeah, and I think there’s a need for these types of conversations. I mean, these are the conversations that go on all over the industry every day. “How do I do this? Where do I go?” Just some source of information, and we’ve shared some good links on here to apps that some people may not have heard of in the past. We’re connecting people to different services, which is great. Like you said, by having a variety of different topics, we’re not trying to hit a specific niche. We’re trying to hit a broader range that people can relate to, who are in the tech space, and you’re right.
I mean, when you’re listening to podcasts, something may not resonate with you. It’s just listening to a CD of an artist. You don’t like every song on the CD, right. You like most of them or some of them, but you skip. By having that variety, we at least can captivate, hopefully, a larger audience, but it’s definitely been a learning curve. Rob, you’re handling most of the tech pieces related to it. I’m trying to get this thing out there, and I’ve seen some benefits from the marketing efforts. Last week, we didn’t market much, but we still had listeners-
Robert: Yeah, that was great. That was a good thing.
Scott: So, it was kind of like, “Okay.” Yeah, well what that tells me is that that was episodes that people had cached up that they hadn’t listened to yet, so it probably means that next week or in a week or two, it’s going to be slow. Because it’s sort of like this wave, but yeah, we’re learning, and hopefully, you guys like what we’re doing. Obviously, send us feedback. Twitter, iTunes, SoundCloud, email, website, whatever. Just let us know what kind of topics you want to hear and help us grow it. I’m not even asking you for you to share with your friends. I just want you to tell us what we can do better, because we enjoy this. Like it’s just been so much fun. We’re on episode 25 now-
Robert: That’s crazy.
Scott: That’s what we’re recording right now.
Robert: That’s crazy.
Scott: Yeah, it is. It’s nuts. I mean, we’ve been doing this not even quite six months, right. Like four months maybe-
Robert: Four months, I think. Yep.
Scott: Yeah, it’s been fun and I intend to keep doing it until we don’t have anything else to talk about.
Robert: Yeah, I mean, thank you for joining us over these last couple of months, for being a part of the episodes, and hopefully, we’ll be able to share as we continue to grow the podcast over this next year, the milestones, things that we’ve learned. So, if you’re thinking about starting up your own podcast, hopefully, that’ll be helpful and just give you kind of some background of how we’re doing it, what we’re doing, and-
Scott: Yeah, and one of the things, too, that we want to do is we want to document everything that we did along this process, so that we can share with everybody exactly what we did, what things worked, what didn’t. Maybe there’s some products that come out of this, too. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of shortcomings in this industry, and figure out what we could develop for podcasters, to make things easier. But, anyway, we’ll be sharing some of those insights, and tips, and hopefully, you can gain from it, as well.
Robert: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Stretch Goals Podcast. You can access the show notes for this episode and listen to other episodes by heading over to stretchgoals.fm.
Robert Dickerson is the Founder and CEO of Mapout a mobile learning platform that uses video courses to educate customers and train employees. He helps companies develop and launch their products.
Scott Davis is the Founder and CEO of MobX, a mobile development software agency. He has 20 years of experience developing software for Government, Finance, Sports and the Telecommunications industry.