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Podcasting for Beginners

By March 30, 2021Iroquois News

Independent insurance agencies looking for new ways to create content, stop here, this podcasting for beginners is for you. Go behind the scenes of The Trusted Advisor Podcast for some tips and tricks on how to start your own podcast show. Kelsey and Edwin speak about what a podcast is, how to create an episode, and why you would want to have a podcast as an independent insurance agency. This episode should get your wheels turning and give you a great jumping off point to start your own podcast. Don’t forget, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us. Podcasting for beginners doesn’t have to be done alone.

how to podcast for beginners. Insurance Agent edition.

Edwin K Morris (5s):
Welcome to the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things, insurance. I am Edwin K Morris. Kelsey branch is joining us behind the scenes today. Kelsey graduated from Mercyhurst university and immediately stepped into the insurance industry. After a few years at travelers insurance. Kelsey is now the digital marketing director here at the year Iroquois group. Welcome. Hi Kelsey.

Kelsey Branch (33s):
Hi, Edwin. How are you? It’s fun to be on this side of things.

Edwin K Morris (36s):
Well, isn’t it now. So as a guest, what are we talking about today?

Kelsey Branch (41s):
We’re going to talk about how to podcast basically podcasting for beginners, because that’s where we were about a year and a half ago, just leveling with our audience and seeing if we can help anybody else get into this thing.

Edwin K Morris (54s):
So this is like a self-help podcast.

Kelsey Branch (58s):
It could be a self-help spot. Yes, we’ll go with that. Okay.

Edwin K Morris (1m 2s):
The three topics we were kind of kicked around was how, why and

Kelsey Branch (1m 8s):
What exactly. Yeah. So what is a podcast and what is a podcast? I think of a podcast as audio only TV show. So you’re going to have a story or you’re going to have some sort of information, could be a documentary, could be a fiction. You know it, you get to choose the topic. And I think one of the biggest things that people worry about when they’re thinking about creating their own podcast is how long am I going to make this thing? How long am I going to?

Edwin K Morris (1m 36s):
That’s always the question here.

Kelsey Branch (1m 37s):
Is this going to be a 10 minute podcast? Is this going to be a two hour podcast? Two hours can seem really overwhelming. And on the other hand, 10 minutes can too, because can you actually get in everything you want to talk about?

Edwin K Morris (1m 50s):
It’s almost like it’s, it’s easy to go over 10 minutes. It’s real easy to go. Over 10 minutes actually is skillful. If you can keep it under 10 minutes, because you can just keep talking and talking and talking,

Kelsey Branch (2m 2s):
Being able to kind of set yourself a guideline before you step into the recording booth. Otherwise, you know, you’re not going to have too much consistency as you release episodes. You know, you don’t want a 10 minute podcast one day and a two hour one, the next one.

Edwin K Morris (2m 17s):
So what did the Iroquois figure out was the sweet spot for time?

Kelsey Branch (2m 21s):
We found that it’s about 15 to 30 minutes. I know that seems like a broad length, but I would say the ideal, the goal time for an Iroquois podcast, because we want people to be listening to this when they’re in the car, driving from an appointment to another, or maybe to start their morning off with a quick little hit of, you know, some education or something to get you thinking about for the day, ideally about 20 minutes for us, you don’t have to set that same time goal. But think about that before you get going,

Edwin K Morris (2m 53s):
Making the product fit your audience, right? So as you’re saying, it’s situational. If you’re driving, you’re going to be listening for a while at your computer. You can listen while you’re doing something else, right? It’s not as focused as like sitting on a webinar where there’s a visual involved. So you could be doing other things, doing yard work.

Kelsey Branch (3m 12s):
Yeah. Cleaning your house or that sort of thing. When you’re a beginner podcast, you want to really take into consideration is who you’re talking to. Who’s your audience going to be? So you don’t want to step into this with no thought behind who you’re going to be talking to because if you spray it too wide, you’re not going to get anything back. You’re not going to get the engagement that you’re looking for.

Edwin K Morris (3m 37s):
You’re saying you have to have a script.

Kelsey Branch (3m 38s):
You definitely don’t have to have a script. You know, what’s the purpose of this podcast for you? You know, we’re speaking to independent insurance agencies. So if you’re an independent insurance agency and you’re looking to create a podcast, maybe you’re looking to be recognized as a leader in your community on a specific topic. So as an insurance agency, you’ve could create a podcast where you explain, you know, what’s an auto policy, what’s a homeowner’s policy. How do you go through the steps? Or you could go totally the opposite direction. And you could do a podcast for your local businesses to kind of Comarket it with your community and also have that generate leads.

Edwin K Morris (4m 23s):
So let’s go to the, how

Kelsey Branch (4m 25s):
The how Is the scary part? I think for a lot of people, I’ll be completely upfront with you a year and a half ago. When I stepped into this position at Iroquois, I had never created a podcast. I had listened to a lot of podcasts. So that gave me a little bit of, you know, a jump start I would say is as opposed to somebody who is just learning what a podcast is or how you can go access a podcast where you can get them, that sort of thing. But I didn’t know what it took to create a podcast. And I think one of the most charming things about this platform is that you can do it pretty simply. There is not a huge, you don’t have to go buy, you know, thousand dollar audio equipment.

Kelsey Branch (5m 6s):
You don’t have to have a huge background knowledge on techie things. You can get into this pretty simply. So with the help of Edwin and the help of Google, we, we stepped into this and we’ve been creating episodes for a little bit over a year now.

Edwin K Morris (5m 26s):
Threshold to get started is pretty low, but with that low threshold, just understand there’s going to be a quality gradient. Once you start listening and then you start perfecting, and then you say, Oh, maybe we should get a better microphone or, you know, those sorts of things. The neat, the neat thing about it is that you’re right. I mean, it really is. Anything you could start with is already available for the most part. It’s either on your PC, your computer, your tablet, your phone, you can record things. The producing part is probably problematic for a lot of folks. And the one thing that has seemed to be a stumbling block for some is getting the guests you want.

Edwin K Morris (6m 8s):
Right? Getting that, that how piece is I? Well, I can talk all day, but who’s going to listen to just me. Right? So how does that work for getting people in the funnel of saying, Hey, come on over, come on, get on it.

Kelsey Branch (6m 20s):
Yeah. You don’t want it to be a monologue. Right. You know, and, and maybe that works for some people for some platforms. But one of the things I find nice about a podcast is meeting other people and getting to speak with everybody around. So I have created for myself a little template that when I reach out to a guest, I am saying, hi, this is why or how I have been made aware of who you are. And this is why I think speaking with you, having a conversation with you would be great for my podcast audience. I just shoot out an email and you could shoot out a LinkedIn message. You could give somebody a call.

Kelsey Branch (7m 1s):
You can even start with your community, your tight-knit group of friends and family. Because if you’re just starting out, you might be nervous to be having a conversation with somebody you don’t know, but you’ll produce better content. If you’re feeling more at ease, more relaxed with somebody that you have been having dinner table talks with for forever. Right?

Edwin K Morris (7m 23s):
Absolutely. And we’ve run into that, right? So if you’ve got somebody that’s super nervous or not sure, or just very unsure of themselves and, and conscientious on how they sound and there they’ll spend so much time in their head, you won’t be able to get to a conversation.

Kelsey Branch (7m 41s):
Yeah. We have definitely dealt with that. And that’s another thing is you have to be prepared to have your podcast go sideways a little bit. And if it goes sideways, you don’t have to release it. Or if it goes sideways, maybe you’re able to edit out a little chunk and you can have a mini episode, even though you thought it was going to be 45 minutes

Edwin K Morris (8m 0s):
Actually had it happened to where we thought we were going to do X. And then it ended up being expanded just because of time, opportunity and the level of conversation. It was like, Oh my gosh, we just got three podcasts. It can be very fun, organic conversation. And it just takes that certain amount of that back and forth to build it.

Kelsey Branch (8m 21s):
Some people might not know how to record audio.

Edwin K Morris (8m 24s):
When I started out, I used Skype there. So many platforms out there that are providing this type of communications platform that your options are really unlimited.

Kelsey Branch (8m 33s):
Something that I didn’t think about prior to getting into this world was the appeal to having two separate audio track. My audio is being recorded in one space and Edwin’s audio this right now is being recorded as a separate track. Having two tracks makes the post-production the editing that much easier take the time to make sure that you’re two separate tracks because that’s when the mix down comes into play, which Edwin can kind of speak to

Edwin K Morris (9m 3s):
Back in their early days, we were set up in a studio and we would end up with a mixed down product. So both tracks would already be compiled together into one audio file. And then I would do some editing with that. And what we found was the best opportunity. And you’ve got to have some editing skills. Then you can see both tracks and be able to edit out pieces. Like actually, Kelsey may have a dog barking in the background, right? While I’m talking, I can quickly edit that out. If you’re in a mixed down already, those two elements already combined, and you cannot extract one from the other,

Kelsey Branch (9m 42s):
That’s an important piece. And I know zoom allows you to do that dual track recording. So that’s something to take into consideration and there’s editing software out there that is totally free. It’s called audacity. And Edwin has had a bit of experience with audacity in the past. And he now uses an editing software called Hindenburg. So transitioned from free to a hundred dollars a year, a hundred dollars a year might not be too bad to throw at this. And you can always start with the free platform.

Edwin K Morris (10m 17s):
Going back to the audience piece. What would you suggest as a definite thing you need to do with your guests?

Kelsey Branch (10m 23s):
A few things, when you are going to be speaking with somebody outside of your organization or somebody that is on the same, you know, professional playing field, as you do, you want to make sure that you get an audio release. So you want to have them sign something that says I’m giving you permission to record my voice and then use it for marketing in your business, because it can be tricky if you’re going to record somebody and then also edit them in our world and Iroquois’ world. We’re not editing them to sound any different than how they are speaking to us. We’re not mixing words and that sort of thing. And ideally you wouldn’t be either to cover yourself, to cover the others, to make everybody feel safe in this space that you’re recording them, get a release.

Kelsey Branch (11m 8s):
We send it via DocuSign. If you don’t have DocuSign, you could always just attach it to an email and have them take a picture and send it back.

Edwin K Morris (11m 16s):
Both parties, right? It really is there for both parties.

Kelsey Branch (11m 20s):
Another thing to think about, so you have the, you know, why are you doing this? Are you doing it to generate leads? Are you doing it to be a recognized leader in your, in your community? Then you have the that’s the what? No, that’s the why?

Edwin K Morris (11m 35s):
No, we’re on the why we’re on the why now that’s the why? Why are you doing this?

Kelsey Branch (11m 41s):
And then the, how you have record over zoom, make sure you have two tracks. Then you have an editing software. You’re going to fold those tracks out of wherever you’ve recorded. Take out some doublespeak, take out the, take out the dog barks. And as you’ve heard, maybe to other podcasts, typically there’s an intro and there’s an outro. So there’s going to be a consistent, maybe a little jingle in the beginning to let people know to, Oh, I’m about to listen to an episode of the trusted advisor. You can find audio online, you know, royalty-free audio, and then you can make a prerecorded welcome to the trusted advisor. Here’s our host welcome ex guest.

Kelsey Branch (12m 22s):
And you go into your questions, the outro, same thing, prerecorded, thanks so much for listening. We’ll be back and give them a timeline to know, should I check back in two weeks? Should I check back in a month? That sort of thing. So you have all of that. And then

Edwin K Morris (12m 36s):
Last thing that kind of is the, where do we go with all, this is, what do you do with these things once you’ve gone all through this work?

Kelsey Branch (12m 43s):
Yep. So you have your edited version. You’ve probably listened to your episode now, at least 15 times more than you thought you were ever going to listen to it. You have to give it out to the world, to the rest of the people. This was something that I didn’t know prior to podcasting, you’re supposed to start with a host platform where you, you know, you’ve edited down this file. It’s probably an MP3 file at this point. And you’re going to upload that file into platform. Sound cloud is one that’s very common. We pay for a app called transistor. There’s also things like Buzzsprout and there’s various levels of free to paid, et cetera.

Kelsey Branch (13m 25s):
Something you’ll want to look into you’ll put it on that host platform. And that platform will have an RSS feed connected to it. R S S that is what gets your podcast out onto Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, Stitcher, where people typically listen to their episodes. The host platform also is going to give you a link. If you want to put this link, you know, on social media or if you want to put it on you’re exactly right. The host platform is the last and final step. If you want to make it pretty, you can have some cover art.

Edwin K Morris (14m 2s):
Most of them require to have something that identifies you.

Kelsey Branch (14m 6s):
It’s true, like SoundCloud. They won’t let you post something.

Edwin K Morris (14m 8s):
I want her to find RSS for folks because everybody loves an acronym, really simple syndication, really simple syndication. So it’s basically a, let’s go back 50 years to how broadcasts used to work, right? Broadcast stations were television radio. You know, those were centrally located around an antenna. Well, now that we have the internet, instead of an antenna based broadcast, you have the possibility of really simple syndication, which is a standardized system for the distribution of content from an online publishing.

Kelsey Branch (14m 49s):
So basically you get to put it in one place and it out to all of these other places without any work done on your behalf, let’s be real. You’re not going to make a million dollars right off the bat with this podcast. You know, the more automation in getting this out to your audience, the better

Edwin K Morris (15m 7s):
RSS feed gives you that opportunity to connect to all these other distribution channels. Great. Yeah,

Kelsey Branch (15m 14s):
Yeah. Yep. Exactly. So once you’ve released it, you’re going to want to market it a little bit, you know, make sure that you’re adding that into your conversation with prospects or with people in the community say, Hey, have you heard my, you know, whatever your trendy show name is, you can get it here. You can look at my website. It’s also nice to, you know, drive people to your website specifically. Instead of, as we’re all familiar within the insurance industry, you have the posts from the carriers, and that’s really great to create content and put it out on your, your feed and show your prospects, what companies you’re working with. But when they click to it, they go to the carrier website, not your website.

Kelsey Branch (15m 59s):
This is content that you’ll be creating individually that will lead them to your website. So you’re getting all of the benefit from this. I would say, you know, maybe one last thing is when you’ve created a podcast, you have created more than just a podcast for yourself. You can transcribe it with some free transcription services and then you can put it out as a blog. You can take a quote from your podcast and use a platform like Canva, which is a totally free digital design platform and make a pretty quote and put that out on your social media to draw people in.

Edwin K Morris (16m 37s):
Would you actually classify this content as infotainment to a degree? I mean, you’re, you’re, you’re serving a, that’s a great word because you want to make it a little entertaining. You don’t want it to just be dry as an encyclopedia. Well, maybe you do

Kelsey Branch (16m 51s):
At Iroquois at the trusted advisor podcast. We like to have it be a little bit more casual and be able to laugh and get to know your guests and that sort of thing. But we like to laugh at Uruguay.

Edwin K Morris (17m 5s):
All right? Any final words for how to make a podcast,

Kelsey Branch (17m 8s):
There is so much stuff out there. Basic podcast, how to guides take from this, what you will and feel free to reach out to us. Edwin and I are happy to help. If you reach out to me, interested in getting this done, we can do an example podcast together. We can, we can help you get there. So don’t be afraid of it. You can, you can do it really easily and you have big room for improvement as, as you go on.

Edwin K Morris (17m 33s):
And if you don’t want to do the work behind producing a podcast, be a guest, get your feet.

Kelsey Branch (17m 41s):
Exactly. That’s perfect. Well, thanks. I appreciate the conversation. I think that help everybody down the line.

Edwin K Morris (17m 46s):
Let’s go to the beach. Thanks for listening to this edition of The trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group here at Iroquois, your trusted advisor for all things, insurance, and remember, and get out of the office and sell I’m Edwin Kay Morris. And I invite you to join me for the next edition of the trusted advisor podcast.