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The ThinkEnergy podcast features conversations that focus on the fast-changing world of energy. We explore through a communications lens, some of the coolest trends, emerging technologies and latest innovations within the energy sector. We seek to understand how these game changers bring their ideas to market and demystify their concepts.

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Jul 6, 2020

If you ever thought about starting your own podcast or wanted to learn more about the process, this episode is for you. With years of experience in the podcasting industry, Rhys Waters and Jonathan Burns – co-founders and producers of Podstarter – have seen it all, including ups, downs, successes & failures. They believe that success can be found by any podcaster through a healthy balance of passion, consistency, and a genuine connectedness with their target audience. Tune in to learn the ingredients of a great podcast.

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Transcript:

Dan Seguin  0:02 

Hey, everyone, I'm Dan Séguin from Hydro Ottawa. This is the ThinkEnergy podcast. Changing times have led to the implementation of numerous new technologies in business. One of the most fascinating is this, what you're doing right now listening To a podcast. First, thank you for listening. I'm grateful that every two weeks you tune into our show. As the world becomes busier and channels more cluttered, podcasting is becoming increasingly popular. According to Forbes, there are 62 million Americans listening to podcasts every week. But why? With more than 850,000 active podcasts available, the variety of topics is limited only by your imagination. podcasts have been around for a decade and a half. But in the last five years, we've witnessed a renaissance thanks to smartphones, podcast apps, and voice activated speakers. They're easier than ever to access. Hydro Ottawa opted to invest in podcasting because they are convenient, very portable and easy to use with tremendous listener retention rates. In addition, they provide a repeat touch point for audiences. podcasts have a unique way of making technology disappear. You simply listen to your device. There's no tapping, swiping or clicking. In this way, podcasting reduces the friction and noise associated with traditional digital advertising, allowing us to speak directly to you and find a connection. Maybe you're listening to this while you're doing the dishes, driving exercising. With podcasts, our hands are free to multitask. A recent study showed while 49% of podcast listening happens in the home 22% happens while driving 11% at work and 8% while exercising. If you ever thought about starting your own podcast or wanted to learn more about the process, this episode is for you. It's relatively easy to begin with little overhead or broadcasting experience. You can actually start recording a podcast with just your iPhone or a pair of headphones or ear buds. So here's today's big question. How can podcasting effectively build relationships and trust and become an efficient way to make positive connections with people simply using the power of voice? To help us better understand the strategies and process behind podcasting? We've invited the cofounders of pod starter on today's show. They share a vision of helping people in companies make great podcasts and guide them on how to tell compelling stories. They've built global audiences and have worked with broadcasters like the BBC, their company He's responsible for more than half a million podcast downloads. Dear listeners, please welcome Jonathan Burns and Rhys Waters. gents. First things first. Tell us about your company podstarter. And what drew you to podcasting?

 

Rhys Waters  4:22 

I personally started in podcasting back in about 2015. Back in the UK, I was working on some radio projects for the BBC. And we kind of got roped into releasing some radio shows, as podcasts and it kind of spiraled from there. My background is in film. So it was kind of a really exciting new creative place to just play with audio and tell stories and, and kind of grow in in that environment. So since then, yeah, I've just been having fun with it, seeing what challenges you can overcome in terms of recording in real world locations and studio spaces and then having those kind of conversations That you can't necessarily have in other realms that podcasting really allows you to, to take advantage of.

 

Jonathan Burns  5:08 

Yeah, for myself, there's a couple of reasons of why podcasting really sort of drew me to it. My background has been creating content anywhere from online training videos to building augmented reality, virtual reality experiences, sort of content that has impact or connects with an audience in a unique way. And having met Rhys a few years back, we started having conversations around podcasting and how accessible It is to be able to communicate and craft stories. And the company pod starter sort of evolved out of that notion of A) it's accessible, but B) a lot of people are doing it, not necessarily doing it well, but there's an opportunity to be an expert at it. And we launched really as a sort of a consulting company, to help people learn how to do it and then then Off you go, but it's morphed and evolved into full podcast production to Creative Services to micro content to everything sort of wrapped around that podcast cycle.

 

Dan Seguin  6:03 

Here's a question for you both didn't Video killed the radio star in the age of TikTok YouTube and social media podcasts feel a bit like a throwback to the days of radio? Why the surge in popularity?

 

Rhys Waters  6:19 

I really like to talk about NPR in the US because they are the biggest podcasting network in in the world. And they started out as a radio station that was really a radio kind of producer that was struggling, you know, and NPR was people. There were lots of articles. If you go back 10 years see and you know, MPR is dying, and it's being defunded. No one's listening. And then they essentially just shared the same content they've been making for decades, on a different platform in a more accessible way that people wanted to listen on. And people instantly connected with it in a new way and the audience is younger than ever. They're, they're a behemoth in terms of the podcast. influence. So I think that the explosion comes from the fact that audio is a very accessible and powerful tool to use to market and communicate. And podcasting just clicked as a new platform that people could do it that people could share those ideas on, and really have an opportunity to do it in an affordable, regular and authentic way. So I think, I think it was just it was just a distribution problem. And that's been fixed now.

 

I take a different approach. Rhys laughs at me on this because I put the marketers head on. And I and I think about the notion of radio or audio not being as good as another platform. I think of it as from a marketing standpoint, if you pick just one platform and run with it, you're dead in the water. You need to understand the strengths of each of these different platforms and what they're trying to achieve. podcasting is is really unique, and I think that the decline of radio where it used to be on mass and the IBM and Nielsen ratings start to say that the traditional, you know, the jazz station had a, you know, sort of a macro audience not really finite. podcasting is so unique in its ability to be so hyper focused on one particular topic. It is niche as decent can be. So I like that as a platform to be able to say I could communicate any type of particular message to whatever particular audience and that gets back to your idea of, you know, what makes a successful podcast? Is it? Is it mass appeal? Is it mass reach? Is it talking to an audience of one? Is it a personal journey, or a personal journey, a journal rather. So trying to figure out what you're using a podcast for? Like all platforms, they have a place and a space.

 

Dan Seguin  8:42 

How easy is it for someone to get started in podcasting? Do you have to be a celebrity because I'm clearly not, or have a big name brand to launch a podcast?

 

Jonathan Burns  8:56 

It's a funny question. It gets back to the success what is your key performance indicator, what's that measurement of what you're trying to achieve? And, and I look at the successful podcasts that are getting millions and millions of downloads. And sometimes I scratched my head. And I wonder how they navigated through the clutter. Fame certainly helps from a volume standpoint, but you've got other things that are done by the quality of the content. I look at the daily the daily is always in the top 10 and talks about breaking news. And it's a it's a news aggregator that talks about specific stories of things that are going on. It does its job really well. And so it's not driven by fame and fortune. It's about the content more than anything else.

 

Rhys Waters  9:44 

I mean, there's a whole industry that has sprung up overnight around how can podcasters reach bigger audiences there's endless discussions on forums about how can I get more downloads How can I you know, appear on higher rankings In Apple, and up till about three months ago, I was I was of the cynical mindset of thinking that unless you're part of a big network or you've got a friend on the inside to be able to be on the front page of Apple was impossible. But the last two months, I've been on a bit of a roller coaster journey with a new project where we had zero brand recognition, zero, celebrity power, zero social media following and it's now become a show that is on the front page of apple in Canada and is in the top 50 shows and the top 10 for genre. And that has just come out of nowhere. And that was purely following the guidelines that Apple provide by offering something different to an audience that didn't have access to that to that show. So it is possible to break through even if you don't have all those, all those big people in your corner back in you and helping you launch in the first place.

 

Dan Seguin  10:56 

Could someone expand on what makes a podcast great. Can you provide an example of a podcast doing it right?

 

Jonathan Burns  11:05 

Well, I was just I wanted to build more on your point that recently we just talked about which was the the surprise success of one of the podcasts that we've been working on. And, and it's like anybody who says I can give you a viral video, don't believe that. It's, there are formulas and things that you think might make it popular. But finding that success is sometimes elusive. But as Rhys was just talking about in one of his examples there was it you don't necessarily need to know somebody in placement. You don't need to be a part of a network. You don't need to fit those traditional structures, you can still find success without it. But understanding that the success needs to be sort of anchored or sorry, the podcast needs to be anchored in some key principles of good production value, good quality, interesting topics. well spoken people. A variety of those elements that make all podcasts good, making sure you've got those fundamentals and foundations, I think is crucial in this day and age, you can't launch with a with a, you know, just your Apple phone in the basement, roughly getting up to market. It maybe you can get but it'll be a it'll be a stretch.

 

Rhys Waters  12:21 

I think I think for me the secret of most of the great podcasts that have really risen and built a huge audience is that they have a genuine connection with their audience, they have a genuine connection with the people who want that content and they really look after them and serve them the kind of ideas and entertainment and thoughts that that people really be missing that they haven't got in maybe more mainstream channels. So I think there's that those shows that are really elevated to the ones that find that audience. Look after the And then just improve what they give them and how they give it to them over time. And an example for me in terms of broadcast podcasts that are doing a really good job I am obsessed with business wars, which is a wonderful production. And it's it's an example of, of just really good storytelling, very high production value act in sound design scripting, and packaged in  a way that just is it's easy to consume. You can binge Listen, each episode is like 30 minutes long. But the The reason I like it is that they tell the stories that you haven't heard about, about great business rivalries like Puma versus Adidas or Chevy versus Ford. And what they do is really bring to life those behind the scenes deals and bought boardroom kind of battles and vendettas that people have. And so they've reframing a business topic in a completely new way. And that's what really engages Me too. And to me is an example of of a great podcast is going well, what can we do in the podcast realm that we can't do everywhere else? And then really running with it.

 

Dan Seguin  14:13 

Rhys, Jonathan, let's talk discoverability with over 850,000 active podcasts out there, what are the best strategies to be discovered? How does one go about promoting podcasts and grow a listenership?

 

Jonathan Burns  14:31 

I guess as the marketer, I may want to tackle this one. And it's a it's a tough, tough question. I don't know if you've actually watched anybody scroll through their Instagram feed. They've been talking about the attention span of people getting shorter and shorter and shorter. You look at your four second ad spots, all of this kind of stuff. And we've been talking about sort of the brand promise making sure that things are aligned and what the deliverables going to be. And that means anything from the thumbnail the image that people first see to the title For a search, but also for a relevance of the conversation, to everything from show notes to the first tone, and music of the podcast needs to all be sort of aligned. So that if you're able to get the discoverability, from an image to a write up to, to the title of the podcast, and getting into the space will get you from interest to subscriber. But that's only on on the podcast platforms, we are huge fans of saying, Let's leverage other platforms, other communities to be able to drive traffic back to the actual podcast. And that means micro content, small bits, small cut small pieces of for example, this interview this conversation to put onto say LinkedIn for that audience to be able to say I'm interested in that topic or that conversation or that one liner, and it becomes an audio clip or a sentence from a video standpoint or a visual standpoint, even from the transcripts of the show to actually then generate a blog post, to be able to use this content in a variety of different ways in different mediums. It's not all about getting found On on Spotify, for example, it might be how do I get found on my Instagram channel and using those to build those communities so that people inevitably move back and forth across those platforms across those channels to get engaged with the conversation that you're having?

 

Rhys Waters  16:16 

Yeah, from my point of view, I kind of when you look when you look at an audience or when you have a conversation with an audience, the  interesting thing is the statistics really show that there are two things that are really driving recommendations. Sorry that there are two things that are really driving the people to new shows and to discover new shows. And that is firstly, recommendations and secondly topic. So a lot of the statistics will see recommendations from friends from family from from co workers who have a similar interest in in those kinds of shows are in podcasting. And the only way to get that is by making a really good show that people are willing to go out on a limb to recommend which isn't easy. There's no easy way to make a great podcast. But that is one of the most powerful ways to do it. And secondly, in terms of topic, talking about a topic that you're passionate about that you have something interesting to say. And then would help with discoverability. And like some people, I've seen some stats where, you know, people search in a podcast platform by that topic, because they want to learn about that topic. So making sure that you describe the episodes and you have good show notes. And all of that information is is kind of built in so that you are discoverable through that topic, but then also engaging with audiences and and forums and groups online that are centered around those topics too. Often sharing a podcast on on a Facebook group, for instance, is really relevant to that group can drive a lot of traffic back to your to your podcast too.

 

Dan Seguin  17:56 

so promoting a podcast takes time and growth. Depends on consistently producing engaging content. What's a realistic goal for a podcaster to aim for in terms of percentage of growth? To know if they are successful? Is it about that? Or are there other indicators of success?

 

Rhys Waters  18:20 

in terms of setting a goal for new podcasters for growth and success? I think that the the key indicator of success is what you define it to be in the first place. If you want to be the next Joe Rogan then chances are you're going to be disappointed for the next 10 years. But I'd be you might not be you might you might be the next Joe Rogan. But realistically, if if you're still talking about something with passion, and you're getting response from people and you know that people care about what you're talking about and enjoying the conversations you're having, to me that would be a measure of success. If you're talking and somebody listening, then that is as it is in its purest form. That is what podcasting is about. And for me, personally, you having fun, you know, a lot of people start podcasts as a passion project, you start having fun and it becomes a real labor, then it's not going that's not a successful podcast that becomes a burden on you where you feel indebted to constantly put out this put out this content. So when you are planning, how often Am I going to release this show? You know, how long should the show be? People should think about that how would the quality will be affected by the quantity so if you're really chasing stories or angles or interviews for a weekly show, and really struggling to find voices, you know, your podcast is not in a good place, you're not doing the excited, interesting things that you set out to do, where you want this to have a balance between a regular a regular show that is growing an audience and having the impact you want. But you also want to make sure that you maintain that that level of quality and excitement with every show that you put out which there's a balancing act between Giving people something as rapidly as possible, but also making sure that what you do put out is something that you're satisfied and something, you know, your listeners will be satisfied with too.

 

Jonathan Burns  20:09 

I actually want to steal Rhys's story. He presented this or talked about this a few months back at a conference and I really liked the story because we were talking around. If it's just about audience acquisition, it's to finite a goal, you're either gonna hit it or miss it. And it is too difficult to be able to say in two months, I'm going to have a quarter of a million listeners. So understanding what those objectives are, are very important. Rhys was working on a podcast that found phenomenal success great fan engagement, they were in the merchandise and live events. And the BBC had said you know what, we wanted this podcast and put it on the broadcast. We actually want to make it into a TV spot as well. And it more often it evolved As they're going along and seeing these levels of success, it moved their benchmark, their goals shifted, and all of a sudden it was, can't wait to be on TV. And it failed miserably from a TV standpoint, I shouldn't say that Rhys, it didn't fail - It didn't exceed our high expectations.

 

It didn't have the same level of success when it transferred from one platform to the next. There's my political response. But But as he was wrapping up this story, talking about the evolution of this podcast, there was some writers that were some comments from fans that were writing in to say things like, the comedy was so fantastic. I was having a down day in my car, I laughed so hard I soiled myself. Stroked the ego of a comedian to say really, I'm in this not for the dollar, but I'm in it for the psychological rewards that I get from doing a good thing or a good product. And it shifted around that. And so part of our dialogue on setting key performance indicators and specific goals is to understand really why you're doing this. If it is for purely monetization, not thought or thought leadership or whatever your structure is, know that when you start out because inevitably, if you're not doing it with a with a balanced measure of passion, and enthusiasm, you're gonna die out, you're not going to be able to achieve whatever you're doing. There's been some great podcasters that had found success from an audience acquisition standpoint that eventually said, I didn't like doing what I was doing. I didn't like the person that I was, I'm exhausted. And inevitably, regardless of that, that success from an audience standpoint, couldn't sustain what they were doing. So our recommendation always is understand why you're doing it. Understand what those goals are, and making sure that you keep that in the back of your mind are always a part of that big picture.

 

Dan Seguin  22:57 

I've read that content is king, but distribution is Queen and she wears the pants. I couldn't agree with that more. What advice can you give on cross channel promotion? And how can social media channels grow your show? Where should podcasters focus their time and marketing effort?

 

Rhys Waters  23:20 

And I think that one of the most important things with a podcast is to not just upload to an RSS feed and sit and wait, I think that there's still a huge percentage of the population that that doesn't really engage with podcasts and doesn't have the podcast app on the phone. Even if it's pre installed, they might have never even opened it. So there's a real missed opportunity. And often, when podcasting first came out, there was the whole conversation of saying, Have you heard my podcast? What's the podcast? Here, download this app. You know, there were there were barriers and several stages to get through to get someone to engage with it. But when you have something like a platform like YouTube, where you can do a video version of your podcast, whether it's just whether it's actually filming yourself record or whether it's just a logo or whether it's an animated version, whatever you can do. And that is a platform that everybody uses is one of the biggest search engines, you know, in the world. So making sure you put your podcast in places where people will find it, even if they're not into podcasting, is is so important. So not thinking about it in a way where it's exclusive to people who like podcasts, it's exclusive to people who are regular kind of power listeners, make sure that you you meet people where they're comfortable, and you give it to them in a way that they want to enjoy it.

 

Jonathan Burns  24:41 

I couldn't agree with you more on that there. There has to be that balance between content creation and content distribution. I think I was reading somewhere that said it's almost a 5050 time split for every hour that you spend building the product you need to spend an hour promoting and distributing the product. I take a step back and think about The platforms that you need to promote on are all driven from who your audience is. And so if you understand who that listener is, and where they are, invest time and energy onto those platforms. So if you have a youthful audience that you're talking about current issues, that you want to be able to connect with them. Consider a tictok in an Instagram structure. If you're looking at an older demographic, and you're trying to understand what you're trying to communicate in a longer form, consider a Facebook structure. As Rhys mentioned, from a search standpoint, getting found is is difficult, unless you're in those communities in those spaces where your audience is. So I take the step back and say first thing is understand who you're talking to. Who is that that listener Who's that persona and plan and define a strategy around those personas.

 

Dan Seguin  25:51 

You've covered this in your blog, that ratings and reviews are important, but given the number of podcast channels available. It's not always easy to get accurate representation of your metrics. Given that unique complexity of ways podcasts are consumed and downloaded, what is the best way to track and measure their performance?

 

Rhys Waters  26:19 

That's the thing is there's so many aggregators that you put your show on in terms of Spotify and Apple and Google and Stitcher and pod bean and all the different places you put them, in order to pull them all together in one place is, is arduous and confusing and can be difficult. So you might have ratings and reviews on one platform that you never even see because you've never even looked at it. People tend to go to Apple as they as they go to from reviews and ratings. But there are other places where you might be building an audience you might not even be aware of, or there might be some important feedback and review you never see so I really like Chartable which is a really good tool. Where you can essentially link up lots of your key data from those platforms in one place. So he's got Spotify integration, he's got Apple integration through the iTunes Connect platform. And you can create a profile. And then you can add all these different apps and links into it. And it just puts all of your data in one place. It lets you know where you're ranking in charts globally and territories. It lets you know how often you're getting ratings and reviews, it gives you averages. And if you if you sync the data properly, it also gives you an idea of listener drop off. So who, what percentage of people are listening right to the end? What percentage of people you know, where are you losing your audience or so like one of the things that really helped me with having that platform was I could also track other shows that were maybe similar and it wouldn't give me the obviously it wouldn't give you as much detailed data about somebody else's show. You could you could check out the rankings in the charts and it'll give you a good indication of of where you are and what the downloads mean. And if you really aspire to a show you can, you can kind of see see what how they're performing and if and if what they're doing works and if it doesn't work. So I kind of find that as a really, really good central place to look at different information and to start investigating and digging in new ways that you maybe couldn't, on each individual one.

 

Jonathan Burns  28:22 

On the flip side, pod starter is not usually looking to create the next pod star. We usually have clients that are company organizations that are saying their mandate is a little bit different, whether it's to increase the amount of thought leadership that the company is perceived as, increasing their social reach. So a lot of our clients will typically use a podcast not to grow an audience in the podcast structures but to increase traffic to the website or increase traffic to a particular page on a website or social channels. So we end up having to From an analytic standpoint, use a mash up of from Google Analytics to the hosting platforms that we're using to be able to see who's downloading and viewing the podcast. We had a client that said, for every hundred view of a podcast that we had created for them, they were having a 10 x multiplier on the website view, meaning that the actual podcast page was getting the traffic into the space, but people then weren't clicking on the podcast, they were then going somewhere else within the website. So they used us as not a lead generation but as a, an audience acquisition for the website instead of the podcast. And that gets back to why are you doing the podcast and from a business standpoint, a lot of the times it's not just building a podcast audience it's about other tactics and other strategies to be able to have dialogues with their intended customer, future prospects, etc.

 

Dan Seguin  29:50 

Okay, so where you would fit in that funnel?

 

Jonathan Burns  29:51 

Yeah, exactly. Right. So it for a lot of the times when you think of a podcast podcasts are great from having deep honest conversations typically unedited. there's a there's a transparentness in that dialogue. And that is sort of a top line funnel conversation about about a branding opportunity to be able to say, we have thought leadership in this particular space, listen to the people that are having this conversations, we want to be a part of that community. And if that strikes a balance between a potential customer and existing customer and it goes to loyalty or acquisition, whatever it is, from a from a sales and marketing standpoint, you're now in that community and having that dialogue. It's like when social media was first being launched, everyone was going, how am I going to use that as a business tool? And and you look at the airlines that sort of embraced it as an opportunity to use it from a customer service standpoint, to use it as a loyalty standpoint, to be able to measure people's opinions of their service in the space. podcasting has that really unique way to have these these these broad topics, these interesting conversations and being able to stamp an organization's participation within that space. It's really interesting.

 

Dan Seguin  31:02  

Let's talk about length, format and frequency. What are some podcast production best practices? What are the key elements of a podcast that should be optimized to reach and engage?

 

Rhys Waters  31:20 

I've read that the ideal duration is 20 minutes and the ideal release frequency is weekly. And that's based on averages and just looking at across the board what has performed best, but I don't, that is not an there's not a rule that is not a one size fits all kind of answer to that question. And I think you have to make the show that fits your conversation. So if you're doing a very quick news roundup Daily Show, you're going to be looking at five minutes if you're doing something that is a weekly show, you know, 15 to 20 minutes is a good duration to look at. I mean, but there is some shows that have had huge success and Built massive audiences that do really deep dives. There's one podcast that I've worked on and off with called astonishing legends. And they cover like mysteries and true crime and paranormal and conspiracy topics. And they do it in a very kind of high level deep research way. So one topic, they did four episodes, and it was probably about a total of eight hours of content with really detailed research. They actually have a team of researchers working on their shows. So that show is hugely successful because they take the time and an effort to really dive into a topic in a way that other shows don't necessarily have the time or energy to do so. So I think that you've really got to look at what your goals are. Wait, what is this podcast trying to do? And, and who do we really want to appeal to who do we think will listen, who is the audience that we imagined in our heads and really fitted around that because although a weekly 20 minute show Probably would get more traction. It might not be what you'll it might not meet the the goals that you've set out, it might not allow you to do what you want to do in the space.

 

Jonathan Burns  33:10 

I guess maybe the only thing I could add to it is, is understanding what people are doing while they're listening to your podcast. And that shifts their activity. So if I'm actually doing it at work, I've got a longer period of being able to listen to the background, if I've decided to download a podcast because I have to mow the lawn once as long as it's going to take to mow the lawn or wash the dishes or whatever the chore or the activity is, if I'm driving into work, I don't want to download six or seven podcasts, I would like to actually have the longer form that suits that traffic duration, right. So it kind of understanding that niche probably has an impact  on how long people are getting to the end of it. But I think the better points, which is what Rhys talked about, which was the content itself should dictate how long it's going to be if it's quick updates from a newsworthy standpoint, five minutes or less. I got my update and I If I went, if it's a long form deep dive into a crime story, for example, it's as long as the story takes it to be. But the smart, smart podcasters also know, if they're starting to lose their audience at a particular point. I need to scale it back. I need to edit it a bit better. I need to make the story tighter. Other than all that I know exactly what Rhys - he's right.

 

Rhys Waters  34:25 

I was driving back and forth, St. JOHN between Halifax and St. JOHN, last summer. And it's about a four hour drive and I was measuring the distance based on what I would plan my podcasts around that four hour duration. So I got a two hour podcast, I'll stop for a break. And then and then I'll put another hour and then I'll stop for a coffee and then another. So it's funny how people kind of will choose shows just based on the duration alone, depending on the context how they're listening is is something that people don't always consider, but it can be really powerful in terms of the listening experience and how people are enjoying your content.

 

Dan Seguin  35:00 

Yeah, now I've read a staggering stat that 75% of all podcasts fall victim to pod-fading. What are some recommended strategies to avoid that creator fatigue? How do you keep it spicy.

 

Rhys Waters  35:17 

So, I would say that if you're a podcaster, and you have suddenly built a blossoming audience and your formula works, sometimes it can be terrifying to deviate from that formula and do something different. But then there's the the equal danger of remaining the same and becoming stale and losing your audience because you've become too predictable. So you do want to innovate and develop and improve your show over time. And that is terrifying for some people. Because, obviously, you don't want to put a foot wrong. You don't want to lose your audience. But the amazing thing about podcasts is that it is a community. So what you can do is you can have a conversation with your audience with your listeners, ask them for feedback. If they care about your show and they're tuning in, they care about the creative direction of it. So you can try things out, let them know you want to try something out and let them know if they like it or not. You can, it's not, you're not just throwing stones down while waiting for something to go plop, you're having a conversation with someone and you become part of their lives. So you should use that to help you improve your show and grow. And that will keep you excited, they'll keep you interested, they'll keep you engaged, they'll keep your audience engaged, and it means that it becomes much more of a an engaging process where you don't lose that creative energy and thirst because you you can tell yourself that you I'm getting better people you know the show's developing where we're going in a direction that we never expected to and this is exciting.

 

Jonathan Burns  36:48 

I couldn't disagree with this more. There's nothing wrong with pod fade, pod fade every good thing needs to come to an end and It all does. You can't keep it going forever. It becomes a question of whether it's exhaustion or losing focus or losing interest, losing passion, but it is going to come to an end inevitably. I go back to our earlier conversation about understanding why you're doing it. And I think that becomes part of the motivators. If you've, if you understand your your, your inspiration and your drive and the reasons for doing this, it's going to extend that and keep you honed in and focused on the those the, you know, the creative principles that make your show good. And as you get better, we're always trying to strive for perfection and we're trying to improve, and if you're engaged with the process, it's going to go as long as it's going to go. But iteration, pivoting, changing, all of that is is normal as well. And so I'm I pod fades a funny term because pod fade sort of has that notion of exhaustion. I don't want to do this anymore. I can't continue and then it becomes a betrayal to your audience. I I'm on the other side of that I think good things can naturally come to an end. And you can start something new again. So So like I said, I completely disagree with

 

Rhys Waters  38:11 

this happens a lot.

 

Dan Seguin  38:13 

Okay,

 

Jonathan Burns  38:14 

not publicly usually.

 

Rhys Waters  38:17 

We both we both thrive off the creative energy of having different perspectives on what you what you can create in that so is a positive thing.

 

Dan Seguin  38:25 

Speaking of digital marketing, podcasting is a great tool to add to your marketing strategy. How do podcasts impact search engine optimization?

 

Jonathan Burns  38:41 

Actually, you're from a from a digital standpoint? Yes, I'll answer. I think we both should, because there's a lot of shifts now on on Google's algorithm looking for audio content. And trying to make sure it was one of the reasons why we transcribed most of the podcasts that we're doing because it has helps the algorithms find the topics that are being conversed. We are not experts on search engine optimization. However, we have a, you know, sort of a loose understanding of key topics and making sure keywords are distributed throughout all of your platforms. But yeah,it's a, I would stumble to answer this question accurately on how to best make your content optimized for search engines,

 

Rhys Waters  39:25 

I guess. Fundamentally, this is an audio format, but most people find things by typing it in in a text format. So as the opportunities where you can really, you know, like Jonathan said, transcribe, and have decent show notes that really go into detail about who's on your show, what are they talking about what topics are relevant, you know, really trying to extract as much text based information from your podcast and putting it in an arena that is discoverable in those search terms, whether that's getting featured in news articles, whether that's tagged on YouTube, whether that is a section on your website or a blog post that is primarily just show notes for each podcast. That's the, you know, the making sure that that audio is translated into that text. medium is the only way to do it. But Jonathan's right in terms of search engine optimization. We're not experts in that, but the tools of transcription and sharing that is probably the best way to go down that route.

 

Dan Seguin  40:28 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes podcast so inherently personal. Is it that the experience of listening is intimate? That story creates a human connection? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.

 

Rhys Waters  40:45 

I think in the most basic terms of communication and storytelling, the human voice, you know, we've evolved for the human voice to be our main form of communication. That's how that's how, even when we were sitting around campfires sharing fables and stories. And, you know, it comes back to that kind of moment really where you people would share information, through stories through that medium in a way that really connects and really kind of educates people and really makes people feel so podcast is just a modern retake on on that. So it's built into us fundamentally to kind of flat to work is built in fundamentally for us to listen for us to enjoy that voice and build a relationship and really buy into what is being said. And one of the things that one of the stories I really like is the the storyteller the stories that are told by Australian Aboriginal tribes. And the stories they tell are actually maps. So if you wanted to get from one place to another, there was a story you would remember. And that story was actually gave you directions so as the hero went on, this journey might encounter a snake or A giant and it would resemble the landscape as you go. And it just shows that, you know, being able to remember a story that you've been told in that way, is such a powerful way of retaining information and learning and just absorbing what is what is being shared with you.

 

Jonathan Burns  42:19 

Yeah, I think I mean, if I break it into two different categories, right, there's the scripted in the unscripted format. And the the scripted is usually really good at actually telling those specific stories. But I like I like the unscripted notion because it's like gathering around the campfire. And it's bringing people into those dialogues as an unscripted conversation. It's honest, you can reveal your character, your thoughts, what you're about, you don't really it's, it's exposing. People that are listening to this can make their assumptions and judgments of Daniel, myself and Rhys of the of the characters and the people that we are as we're speaking And I think I think that's the intimacy behind it. Somebody is able to participate in the conversation by being involved with it. Not necessarily having a voice on the show, but but still having a voice in some capacity. You're it's intimate I find, right. And I think of it as like that campfire invitation where people are gathered around, sharing thoughts, sharing ideas, sharing opinions, in an honest, humorous way.

 

Dan Seguin  43:29 

Okay, are you able to share with our listeners, what podcasts you're loving right now?

 

Jonathan Burns  43:36 

I love I listen to Masters of Scale. I've listened to it for a while. And it's from the one of the founders of LinkedIn. I like Masters of Scale, because it is the sort of the behind the scenes story of successful people before they're successful. And it and it talks about the humanity of us all. We all started in different spaces. And there's the It's the journey of your life or your career or success or a failure. And it goes into things like you know, fail fast and understanding that failure helps you grow and evolve. But I like the I like the tone of it. I like the casual approach. I like the behind the scenes look and feel. It's one of the ones that that I stick to, but also for coming from a Canadian standpoint. I put on The Debaters frequently, frequently from CBC as as a sort of a noise in the background to make me smile.

 

Rhys Waters  44:34 

For me, I really like the insight you can get from podcasts and the conversations you can drop in on so I'm really into a show called The Art of the Cut, which is basically a podcast for video editors and people who are really nerdy about video editing and film methods. But they have some amazing guests. They have people who edited like the new Star Wars film or films like Ford versus Ferrari any any films that are, you know, released recently or big blockbuster movies, they have a really in depth conversation with the the team who edited them. And as someone who kind of geeks out on film,  it's just heaven. So that's what I really like about it. I don't know where I would hear those conversations without this medium. So it's a big recommendation. If you're as geeky as me about films.

 

Dan Seguin  45:25 

Rhys, Jonathan, we've reached the end of another episode of The ThinkEnergy podcast. Last question for you. How can our listeners learn more about your company? about you? How can they connect?

 

Rhys Waters  45:42 

Well, you could go to podstarter.io, which is our website which is the company that we founded and you can find all of our links to social media. You can get in touch with us you can read a bit about the kind of the work we do in the shows we've produced. And also I have a we also have a podcast called Podstarter. We've also have a podcast sorry, called pod starter that basically is us interviewing different podcasters, who have been on different journeys and have different stories to tell. And the idea is that we just want to look at successes, we want to look at failures, we want to look at the good and the bad. So you can listen in and learn about those experiences. And it's a real resource that we share with clients and with people we can usually find from our interviews a relevant story for for a client to to drop in and go out this is there's a lot of elements within this podcast, a story that I can learn from. And then I also have a show called Canadian politics is boring, which is a comedy show that we only started two months ago but has found an audience quite quickly and it's it's very, very silly, very fun kind of look at Canadian politics and you can find out find that on Canadianpoliticsisboring.com.

 

Jonathan Burns  46:59 

I was gonna say if you type in pod starter and don't find us we're not doing our job very well. So yeah, #podstarter. I think the only the only surprise is the podstarter.io. But the search engines do, straighten that out. And then from a social standpoint, we are everywhere we need to be.

 

Dan Seguin  47:23 

Again, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you had a lot of fun.

 

Rhys Waters  47:29 

Great, thank you.

 

Jonathan Burns  47:30 

Thank you for having us. Appreciate it!

 

Dan Seguin  47:32 

Thank you for joining us today. I truly hope you enjoyed this episode of think energy podcasts. For past episodes. Make sure you visit our website hydroottawa.com/podcast. Lastly, if you found value in this podcast, be sure to subscribe. Anyway, this podcast is a wrap. Cheers, everyone.