This week on the Digital Velocity Podcast, Colin Gray of The Podcast Host and Alitu joins Erik and Tim to discuss how podcasting can boost business by creating added value to your brand.
Colin explains that podcasting can help businesses educate listeners and create trust with audiences. He says, “The fact that audio just is a really honest, transparent, one-to-one medium. It's like somebody's talking straight into your head. So, you really feel like you get to know them…they'll spend an hour listening to your show every week. That multiplied by the personality, the human, the transparency behind it, that's what leads to trust, I think.””
Trust is an integral part of the relationship between a brand and a customer. Colin says, “So, if you're a brand and you can find a topic to talk about, something to teach your audience, something to entertain them with, just some value to give them, so that they listen to you. They get to know you as a person, or the people on your team, anyone on your team, just a human behind the brand, then that is what builds that trust, and as soon as they know you, the human behind it, that's when they can buy from you too.”
Podcasting can create real value for targeted audiences which will positively impact business. Colin says, “If you manage to find a way to create content that appeals to your audience, whether it's teaching, whether it's entertainment, whether it's news, whether it's motivation, you'll end up talking about your story a lot, and that story includes the thing you do. That is what kind of builds the impetus towards your customers actually taking part in the services and the products that you sell.”
Listen to this week's episode to learn more about how podcasting can expand business opportunities.
About the Guest:
Colin is a podcaster, speaker, PhD, and founder of both The Podcast Host and Alitu. ThePodcastHost.com is a huge audio, video, and written resource on how to create a successful show. Alitu.com is a web app that includes everything you need to make your podcast in the easiest way possible, but still with full creative control, including call recording, automated audio cleanup, adding your theme music, building your episode, and hosting for your show.
Tim Curtis: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to this edition of the Digital Velocity Podcast. I'm Tim Curtis.
Erik Martinez: And I'm Erik Martinez.
Tim Curtis: With us today is Colin Gray, the founder of thepodcasthost.com, a platform dedicated to teaching you how to podcast, and also the founder of alitu.com, the podcast maker app, one of the easiest ways for anyone to record and edit a podcast right inside the browser. Colin is a bonafide podcast and content marketing expert, and we are certainly excited to have him on the show today. Thanks, Colin, and welcome to the show.
Colin Gray: Yeah, thanks for having me on guys.
Erik Martinez: So, Colin, [00:01:00] maybe you could just give us a brief synopsis of how you got into doing what you.
Colin Gray: Yeah, sure. The short story is I started in education. I was a teacher at a university in Edinburgh, and I taught learning technology. So, it means I taught other teachers how to teach with tech, and one of the fancy new techs at a time around, this was around 2006, 2007, was podcasting, and actually, my boss said, do you wanna check out this whole audio thing, this podcasting thing, learn how that works.
So, I did. I went and found out about it. I learned about it, created a show, started teaching it, and just fell in love with the medium over time. It was just the kind of mix of in-depth content, the kind of personality that comes through in audio, and just all the vast range of content you got, you know, all that niche content, the stuff that, you know, we all love podcasting for.
So, I ended up writing a lot about it, created videos around it, ran podcasts around it, and that's when I started thepodcasthost.com as a site, just to write about everything I was learning, and luckily enough, that [00:02:00] kind of grew a decent audience over the years. So, these days we mainly just create content on there to teach people how to run a successful podcast. It kinda led to Alitu as well, which is our podcast maker app that kind of was designed to solve one of the biggest problems that podcasters have around taking too long and the complications around editing.
Erik Martinez: That's pretty cool. We're still relatively new, entering our second year of this particular podcast and we have some bumps and bruises and learnings from this first year. But, you know, one of the questions I have is, in your opinion, why is podcasting so popular today? There's thousands of them. Millions, maybe. There's a lot of content out there. Why is it so popular?
Colin Gray: I think the thing that makes podcasting stand out from the other mediums is it's one of the only mediums that's truly kind of long-form in depth. You know, like you go and read a blog, and you're lucky if you can get somebody to read like your whole blog post that only takes a couple of minutes. You know, people skim over it. [00:03:00] Everyone's so much in a rush these days. So, we're searching for someone, we go through a blog, we skim through a dozen blog posts, and if we notice the brand of the blog post, you know, the site that it's on, we're lucky.
Similar with video, we maybe spend a bit more time in video. We get a bit more personality through the video, but still, YouTube's such a distracting medium. You go in there, and again, you look at your YouTube stats, and quite often views are only, you know, a couple of minutes of like a 10-minute video but podcasting for some reason, well, actually, I could talk about a few of the reasons, but for good reason, people spend hours on it.
You know, you get three-hour-long shows and people will listen to the whole thing, and I think the reason behind that is really it's that using wasted time medium because you're out doing something else. It's kind of a background medium, but one you can focus on because it's in the background of rote tasks like driving, or walking your dog, or ironing your clothes, or cooking your dinner.
I mean, I've got a podcast on just about any time I'm doing something that's kind of a rote task that I don't need to be paying too much attention to the task itself, and I think [00:04:00] that's what it is people just enjoy getting something out of that time that would be otherwise wasted. Cause you can't watch a video when you're driving, you can't read a blog post, but you can listen to a podcast and you can learn, or you can get entertained, or get motivated. I think that's a good reason behind that.
Erik Martinez: I think that's very true for me. That's where I get, most of my listening time is driving the car, or you know.
Tim Curtis: Its sort of like sitting in a lecture hall for me, the pervasiveness of podcasts. You can find a podcast on just about any subject. You know, and you can hear from brilliant minds that normally historically would have been found only in lecture halls of universities. Now, you're really opening up those learnings. It's a great way to stay sharp on your content area.
Colin Gray: Yeah, it's a really good point actually. The fact that these people will spend time going really in-depth and their knowledge and sharing their knowledge. As a listener, that's brilliant, but even as a podcaster, people creating podcasts, the fact that you get to talk to people that maybe would never be accessible otherwise, and pick their brains and really learn from them is such an amazing thing.[00:05:00]
Erik Martinez: Yeah, that's pretty fantastic. So, our listening audiences tend to be business owners or executives running direct to consumer brands. That's our niche audience. You know, one of the things I keep wondering about and thinking about is, how can these brands leverage this medium to help grow their audiences.
Colin Gray: Yeah. There's so much in there. I'm sure we can dig into this over the next few while, but the power of podcasting for a brand really is trust, trust at the end of the day. The fact that again, you can write blog posts and that helps you get found. Like, text search is probably the best way to get found still these days. You can create some videos and those starts to get the personality across that people start to see the person behind the brand, the people behind the brand, the humans behind the brand. That begins to build some trust, but then if you can get them to listen to your podcast, it's that personality that comes across.
The fact that audio just is a really honest, transparent, one-to-one [00:06:00] medium. It's like somebody's talking straight into your head. So, you really feel like you get to know them, and because of the time people spend with you, we talked about that. Like, the fact that people spend way more time listening to podcasts, they'll spend an hour listening to your show every week. That multiplied by the personality, the human, the transparency, behind it, that's what leads to trust, I think.
So, if you're a brand and you can find a topic to talk about, something to teach your audience, something to entertain them with, just some value to give them so that they listen to you. They get to know you as a person, or the people on your team, anyone on your team, just a human behind the brand, then that is what builds that trust, and as soon as they know you, the human behind it, that's when they can buy from you too. So, I think that's a lot of it built into that.
Tim Curtis: It's interesting you should mention that because we oftentimes have had folks on the podcast who talk about brand and the power of brand. Honestly, what it sounds like is that the podcast and that trust is really nothing more than an [00:07:00] extension of that brand equity, and extending into a completely different medium. In this case, it's the audio podcast, but again, you know, it's that brand element comes in there because it is a trust. It's a format where it's not easy to hide in a podcast setting. You know, there's not a lot of background noise. Boy, that's a really interesting concept.
Colin Gray: There's something really interesting I find as well about the difference between video and audio. With video, there's just a simple thing that it's much harder to create good video because you need to worry about all these other things. You need to worry about the audio plus all of the visuals and the lighting and your look and all that kind of stuff. But with audio, it's so much easier to create, and there's just not this barrier. There's not this screen in between you and the person.
There's something I find that when I'm watching a video, you feel a bit separated from the person there because there's this screen in between you and you can see that they're in another place and all that kinda stuff. But when you're listening to a podcast, there's just this voice in your head. There's no separation, there's no barrier. There's something about that kind of closeness, that [00:08:00] one-to-one, that person-to-person thing, that I think just builds that relationship so much more easily and deeply.
Tim Curtis: So, I guess the question there, kind of the extension of that question for brands is so they can create a podcast, how do they use that podcast in a way to move the business along? So, in other words, you know, is it introducing new product? Is it highlighting a product or is it generating new sales on a new product line? You know, what's the key there? What do you think is the key there for brands? It's a means to an end.
Colin Gray: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You can't just teach your audience and not get anything from it. But then I find that's how we do it certainly in The Podcast Host. We teach, we talk about how to run a successful show. One of our shows is called Podcraft. That's the show that we run which teaches people how to create a better podcast, and we just teach on that.
We answer questions. What's the best mic I can use for this? What's good recording software? How do I get better at presenting? How do I stop hating my own voice? That kind of thing, and we mention our own content in that [00:09:00] all the time. We mention our own products in that all the time, but it doesn't come across as an advert because we're just talking about our story. We're talking about our background. We're talking about the things we worked on that week and it's built into the conversation.
So, we don't tend to run adverts. It's not like suddenly we stop and say, oh, now please do check out our product Alitu, which is recording, editing, and hosting platform for podcasters. To be fair, sometimes we do that. We do put an ad, but actually the more effective thing by far is just when we are talking about podcasting, we're talking about the topic, and because we do what we do, the product comes up and any brand will find that.
So, if you're a garage, a car garage and you sell cars and you do a show for car enthusiasts. Then you're gonna mention your garage and the way that you sell the kind of cars that you sell, and it's gonna come into the story. So, people will know what you do and it'll be embedded in their head the next time they want to buy a car, they should come to your garage. So, it's built-in, I think. If you manage to [00:10:00] find a way to create content that appeals to your audience, whether it's teaching, whether it's entertainment, whether it's news, whether it's motivation, you'll end up talking about your story a lot, and that story includes the thing you do. That is what kind of builds the impetus towards your customers actually taking part in the services and the products that you sell.
Erik Martinez: If I were a brand and I've never done podcasting before, how do I get this started? What's the structure and the format? What story should I tell first? I think our natural tendency is to go back to our basic marketing brain, which is promote, right? You keep talking about this concept of storytelling and how powerful storytelling is as part of the narrative that becomes the brand experience, right? How do they get that started, and what are the types of things that they need to think about?
Colin Gray: Yeah, good question. I mean, the way it starts for me with most companies, just about anybody that we work with on podcasting is it starts with the target audience. It starts with a [00:11:00] customer. Who is it you are trying to reach? What's the audience you're trying to build? We go to them and we ask them the question what are you struggling with? What can we help you with? Like, how can we be of service to you? So, if you're a company, you'll have customers, hopefully, or if you're brand new, maybe you know who you're aiming for. Find those people and ask them that question. What is it you're struggling with? What can we help you with? How can we be of service and that'll give you a really good guide on what topic you want to talk about?
So, I mean, again, going back to ours. That's what we do. We started a blog writing about podcasting. People started to follow it. They started asking questions. They wanted to know more about what we do, and therefore I started answering those questions. That was what kind of guided the blog posts that I would write. It guided the podcast episodes we created. It guided the videos that I would create as well, and that's how any brand can start, I think.
Even if you're brand new, you'll still know, you'll have an idea of who your target customer is. Get out there and talk to them and ask them. Write down the top 10, 15, 20 questions that they have for [00:12:00] you. No matter what you are, your customers will have a question because they'll be interested in the topic that you cover and that's the basis for your show. That's how you decide what the topic is and how you decide what the first 10, 15, 20 episodes will be.
Erik Martinez: That's great advice.
Tim Curtis: How many brands do we know that we end up telling them to start with customer service? Whether they're trying to solve for new FAQs on a website, or you're trying to kind of outline sort of what your show's going to be, it's a great place to start because that's where you already have a natural connection point to customers. They're asking questions. You can do a quick query in your own site content to find what people are searching for and what they're not. You can kind of build content around that. It's a great suggestion.
Colin Gray: Yeah. Yeah.
Erik Martinez: Let's talk a little bit more about the content. What I heard you say was a couple of things. One, you know, you're starting with this audio content, and you know, reading on your site and listening to you talk, you're also talking about, Hey, I'm creating some videos and I'm creating some other things. So, let's talk about a little bit how we can [00:13:00] take a podcast and expand it into other forms of content that serve and continue to tell your story.
Colin Gray: Yeah, sure. Something that I often talk about is a structure and format around like the stuff that you create, because I think that a lot of people get into podcasting, and there is a big appeal in podcasting in that it takes away a lot of the structure that you might have elsewhere.
So, people often come to podcasting from radio. I know a lot of ex-radio presenters and creators that have come into podcasting and they love the fact that you know, you don't have to read the ad every five minutes or do the station name or whatever, every three and a half minutes. They had so much structure and format and process around how they create a radio station and it must be the same in telly, I'm sure as well. But with podcasting, you're totally free and easy. You can do whatever you like. You can just make a two-minute show. You can make a two-hour show. You can include whatever you like in it.
I try and pull people back to having a bit more of a format structure to their show because I find that those constraints actually make for [00:14:00] much better content, and they also take away that whole fear of the blank page as well. You know, when you sit down and try and write something and the blank page is just terrifying. You don't know where to start, and it's the same with podcasting actually.
You're trying to come up with a topic. You're trying to figure out how to talk about that topic and the blank page, again, it's quite scary almost, and it makes it harder to plan. So, is it worth going through that? The way you kind of think about structuring an episode, perhaps, and that does lead into how you turn it into other mediums too, like blogging and video, I think.
Erik Martinez: Do you turn some of that content into social posts? I mean, what are all the different mediums that you could potentially take some of that, some of your podcast content, and get it out into the world?
Colin Gray: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I tie it together with the written word most. That's kind of the essential for me actually. Podcasting is great, again, but it's not great for being found. The search for podcasting is still pretty difficult. People can't really find the content of your podcast cause you can't really search audio. At the moment anyway. That might change in the future. That's difficult.
So, including a written [00:15:00] component as in what we call show notes quite often. Just having a summary of what you've talked about, so that people can find it in text, like Google Search, is really valuable, and actually, the ideal is to have a blog post that goes alongside it. Like a full blog post that actually covers the same topic as an equivalent. So, people can find that blog post via Google Search. You've written, essentially, the same content that you've put into the podcast, but then you can embed that podcast episode into the written word, and then people are encouraged to go and listen to the podcast episode too.
I find something that works really well, as well, is you've got the general theory that cover the topic in the blog post, but you can encourage people to listen to the podcast episode because you'll include some stories and case studies and examples in the podcast episode. That's the extra material, the bonus material in the podcast episode. Like we know story, case studies, all that kinda stuff works really well in audio. Telling the story about how it works, or how you did it, or examples of how other people have done it. So, I think that hearing is the essential text and audio, [00:16:00] but we could go into the others, like video and social too, if you like.
Erik Martinez: So, what do you think the biggest barriers are to starting the podcast or even continuing the podcast? Because now, I've gotten a certain number of episodes and my audience is two or three people. At least that's what my stats are showing, and now I'm feeling like, you know, imposter syndrome is starting to set in, and I'm losing confidence that this is a worthwhile endeavor. What advice would you give the audience when you start hitting those struggles?
Colin Gray: Yeah, it's a good question, and everyone goes through it as well. I think a big part of it actually is to have a bigger goal that doesn't necessarily tie to growing a huge audience, or even to creating amazing content. Something that I like to do is to encourage people to think in seasons.
So, plan a season of content. By which I mean, take those 10, 15, 20 questions that I talked about earlier. Find the one that comes up most [00:17:00] often. What is the one question that comes up the most often? That is the biggest thing you can help your audience with and then plan a season around that.
So, with us, for example, it was always equipment. What equipment can I use to make a podcast? That's the thing that most people struggle with cause it's kind of techy. It's also quite interesting, people always like to buy the gadgets and the shiny things and software and all like the stuff, the tools. So, that was what we planned our first season around. It was what's the best software podcasting equipment and I broke it down. That's what you do. Take your question and break it down. You can always break it down into component parts.
So, for us, it was like, what podcast equipment should I buy? So, I broke that down into what microphone should I buy, and then what audio interface should I buy, and then recording software should I get, and what's the best editing software, and then what's the best hosting platform. So, I ended up with about eight to ten episodes for that season. Which is what? Two and a half months' worth of content if I'm releasing it weekly, and the really cool thing about that is that it means that you can [00:18:00] plan it out ahead of time.
So, I can just sit down and I can write those questions down. I can write those episodes down. I can put a few bullet points on each one to put a bit of meat in the bones, and that's my plan for two and a half months. It means that every week I can turn up and I don't have to plan my episode. I just open up the plan of the season and I can just record straight away, or even I can batch record. I can record two or three episodes at a time and actually have a few weeks' worth done at once. So, that's really cool.
Having that bigger goal, I think, helps a lot with that motivation that you're talking about. Struggling in those early days. The listener numbers, aren't going up as quickly as you'd like, or you're kind of getting that imposter syndrome, but having that goal to work towards. Finishing that season. You know your plan, you know your two and a half months, your goal is to finish that season no matter what.
Even if you don't grow that audience very much, or you decide at the end of that season that actually this isn't for me, you still have created someone really cool because that resource, that season of content will answer a big question for your audience that'll always be there. You can always direct people to it, even [00:19:00] if you don't add to that podcast in the future, and I think that's really valuable. Just having that goal. Knowing that even if you don't continue the podcast, even if you don't grow massive audience, that is gonna be sitting there as a resource, as a really valuable resource for your customers, your listeners in the future. I think that's really good.
Tim Curtis: We've done some work ourselves on seasons. You know, in our case, we were really focusing on elements that were important or were considered top of mind, top of news, for a particular cycle. Some case it may be related to consumer privacy and the impact that's having on Ecommerce, or it could be a particular ruling. Maybe there was a court ruling, and so the impact of something that's gonna be, you know, downwind for us, or the loss of third-party cookies and digital advertising.
There's definitely something to be said about putting in a season or a smaller context, instead of being overwhelmed by sort of the long tail of, you know, oh my gosh, we've gotta fill two years’ worth of content. Right? You're overwhelming yourselves right away. One extra element[00:20:00] when you're talking about podcast is, and this is for those that are gonna have guests on a podcast, you start to get into the challenge of finding the right guest, or kind of aligning calendars.
You'll lay out these plans, and if you're recording and you're able to record these, no guests you're just producing episodes one after the other, you're not gonna have those same constraints. When you start to get into talent, bringing talent on and interviewing. Then all of a sudden it gets to be a lot more complicated, and I don't even know that we've unlocked necessarily the best way to have that process be seamless. So, I wondered, what's your take on scheduling guests? Let's just say we're using the context of a season. How do you go about identifying and deciding the frequency of that?
Colin Gray: Yeah. Yeah. Good question. I think a lot of that is around, again, going back to those questions. I always do this. I always come back to the questions that your customers are asking. So, taking that big question, then planning it, the season. I wouldn't think about guests at all at this point. I would think about what are the questions I want to answer. [00:21:00] This is how a podcast stands out by actually answering the right stuff.
So, if you pick that big question for your first season, you break it down into 8, 10, 12 smaller questions. It could be considered problems. Maybe they're just the problems that your customers have, the problems you want to help them solve. Then you have a really good guide then to who you want to get on your show. Because if you search those problems, whether it's on the web, just looking for people that are answering that on their blogs. Or you're looking on YouTube, you find people that are creating videos to answer those questions, answer those problems. Or social, like looking around on Twitter or whatever else, for people that are solving those problems and talking about those problems.
For every one of those, you can find somebody that seems to have a unique point of view on them. Reach out to that person and try and get them on. I really don't care actually how famous this person is. A lot of podcasters fall down that rabbit hole of trying to get the big names in their industry. The trouble is the big names actually often just talk about the same old stuff every single time, and maybe the content is really good. Maybe it is unique and it's great take. That's probably [00:22:00] why they became big, but people all have heard their take on it before.
So, finding those other people that are answering this question, solving that problem in a unique way, having a different take on it, is really valuable. So, that's what I would do to find them is start to reach out, find people that have a really unique take on it, and try and invite them to come on the show.
Tim Curtis: It is interesting to take a topic. Sort of how we've done this is taking a topic and then understanding that there are unique point of views on that topic, and then try to find representatives from each point of view so that you can balance. One that's been super complicating is consumer privacy and identity resolution. How do you roll forward with that in today's world?
So, it's identifying and finding people who have a little bit of a different flavor, and I would agree that I think the podcast medium has done a lot for opening up the opportunity to speak to people who, quite frankly, they don't have large followings, but they are subject matter expertise in their area. The podcast format is great for them because you get a chance to hear directly from [00:23:00] somebody who's very boots on the ground in a particular area. I do tend to agree with you. I think in general, what I've found is the people who have the larger followings there's not a lot of new there. You're kind of getting a lot of the same stuff, and I'm sure Simon Sinek goes on to talk about why at all sorts of places, but you know, there's gotta be something else out there.
Colin Gray: Yeah. There's many other points of view out there that you can try and source, which are just as valuable, I think.
Tim Curtis: Yeah. Underrepresented, I would say.
Colin Gray: Yeah, for sure.
Erik Martinez: Cool. So, now we've created our podcast. We're starting to create some new content. We're finding great guests. What's the best way, in your opinion, of going about and extending your reach? For some people that might be monetization of the podcast in some fashion, or maybe getting into a network of podcasts. What's kind of that logical next step that people should take?
Colin Gray: Yeah. Yeah. We started to get into the sort of repurposing aspect and making sure it appears everywhere rather than just in audio. [00:24:00] Like we talked about the fact that you should put a blog post alongside your podcast episode. So, that's the start of that approach. Like having text search being the kind of biggest way people find you, but the other way you can repurpose is obviously into video and I try and do this as much as I can with podcasting. That I'll record a podcast with video too.
I've set up our studio at my office whereby I can really easily just flick on the camera. I've got a good DSLR camera set up in the right place. Got some lights behind it. So, it's really easy to just flick that on when I'm starting to record the podcast so that I have video to go alongside the audio. We did mention the fact that it is a bit more difficult. You have to worry a bit more about say lighting, camera, background, all that kinda stuff, but if you do have the time, once you've been podcasting for a while. If you have the time just to spend setting up that background and actually make it so that it's permanent, it's actually pretty easy once you've set it up. It's a one-time activity and then you've got it there the whole time.
So, what I do is we don't tend to repurpose the whole thing [00:25:00] into video. So, like a 45-minute or an hour-long podcast, just on video, just somebody's talking head, doesn't tend to be the most engaging stuff on YouTube. What I do is I use that structure and format that was talking about earlier. Whatever you want to do around your podcast, within your topic, you can break it into sections.
What I often do with a teaching podcast, with Podcraft, for example, we often have four sections. We've got the introduction, and with an introduction, I tend to cover the whole thing. Like it's basically a summary of the topic. So, talk three, four minutes. There's not much tease in there. It's actually just covering the whole thing, but in summary, just knocking into detail in the intro.
Then I'll go into the theory. That's section number two. So, theory is actually covering the topic. What does this mean? So, if you take how to use Twitter to grow your podcast. I do a summary, three, four minutes, and then theory is just going into detail. How would Twitter work if you were using it to promote your podcast?
In section three of those four would be the story, the case studies. Here's a story around how I used it. [00:26:00] One tweet that worked really well for me, a technique that worked really well for me, and maybe some other people that do it as well. Tell the story, the case studies.
Section four is the tasks. It's the homework. I always put that into Podcraft as well. Like we tend to always ask people to go and do something, and I think that works really well as well. Like just give them a few steps. So, if you want to use Twitter to podcast, then go and change your bio in the way we described it here. Go and do a tweet here with a hashtag like we described in the theory, and then let us know what you think.
That's a format that I use a lot, and the reason that works well for repurposing is that I can break that down into the four sections. So, a half-hour-long show, that'll break down into a 4-minute intro, a 10-minute theory, a 10-minute stories, and a 5-minute here's some next steps, and they all actually work. I design it this way. They all actually work on their own, so I can post those videos separately. The introduction actually at the start cause I covered the whole thing, just not in detail. It's actually like a lightning guide to using Twitter, and then the theory will be the in-depth one on using Twitter to grow your show, and [00:27:00] the homework as well.
Like, if you don't care why it works. You just want to know three or four things you can do right now to grow your podcast on Twitter, then go and watch that video, and they all link together as well. So, that works really well to me for growing a podcast because people find those quite easily on YouTube which then directs people towards your podcast via the description. It's another search medium. It's a way to build loyalty in your listeners too because they can go and can review it and just get a short form there on YouTube too. So, and you can also take some of those, break them down even more, and put them on as one-minute clips on social and stuff like that, once you've got that video, I think that works pretty well.
Tim Curtis: I have to ask because you've gone here, podcast promotion,
Colin Gray: Sure
Tim Curtis: You know, you're describing Twitter and utilizing YouTube and stuff, but I'd love to know a little bit more. I'd love to unpack that a bit. There's all sorts of thoughts about podcast promotion. How you do it, the right angle for it? There's people who lean into LinkedIn. I'm not a huge LinkedIn guy for podcasts. I don't find LinkedIn to move the needle in a lot of respects, but what are your thoughts? I'd love to hear [00:28:00] more.
Colin Gray: Yeah, sure. We've tried a bit of social promotion for podcasts, like as in page promotion. I think organic social works just fine. It's a good way to grow a show, but it is difficult and you can't waste a lot of time there. Paid social, we've tried a lot of Facebook promotion, Twitter, Reddit, all those kind of things. I've never found it that effective for growing a podcast.
Although, I think for more hobby-based podcasts or entertainment podcasts, rather than business-focused, like a few of ours are. It could work very well, and I've seen some case studies where people have grown like a true crime show or stuff like that quite well on social. I suppose that's where people are looking for at the time. Aren't it? They're on social for entertainment probably rather than work many times, so it can work, but it's a tricky one, I think.
One of the ones that works really well to me actually is straight-up advertising in podcast apps. So, most of the podcast listener apps offer this now. Even like the likes of Spotify, for example. You can create an ad in Spotify, a 30-second or a 60-second audio ad, which then [00:29:00] tells people about your podcast and you can actually put that on the Spotify marketplace and it appears inside, you know when people are listening to music or listening to their podcasts and you can do that in the listener apps as well.
Overcast is a really good one for it. You just pay. You can pick niche. So, if you're a tech podcast, for example, you can pick the tech niche, and then your podcast will pop up when people are looking at the tech category to find a new show. So, it's just straight-up advertising, I think, but it works well that.
Erik Martinez: Yeah, we're furiously writing this down.
Tim Curtis: Making a note to myself. Yeah.
Erik Martinez: Like we couldn't just come back and listen to the podcast at some point in the future.
Tim Curtis: That's awesome. I know. That's funny
Erik Martinez: I wanna change topics for a moment. Just going through some of your content. You're talking about this concept of digital minimalism. I can't remember which book it came from, but can you talk a little bit about that and what it means in reference to podcasting, but even digital marketing in general?
Colin Gray: Yeah, sure. It's an interesting one actually. That's my friend, colleague on The Podcast Host, Matthew's hobby horse. Actually, that was his [00:30:00] article about digital minimalism. He's big on that, about cutting down on a few different things. Cutting down, certainly on the media that you consume, which I suppose is kind of against what we should be talking about. We want people to listen to more podcasts, but actually just stopping to think.
I do find myself, like I said earlier, listening to podcasts when I'm doing just about anything, but actually, sometimes I do need to stop and force myself to just walk in silence for 20 minutes rather than listening. It helps me process actually the thing I've just listened to. So, I think there is a lot around that. Like, the fact that we have so much great content out there is brilliant, but it does mean you can get sucked down the rabbit hole and never really think about that content once you've consumed it.
So, that's one part of it, but the other part we talk about a lot around that actually is using less tools. So, a lot of podcasters fall into the kind of gadget freak area. Like we love our microphones and our mixers and our software and all that kinda stuff. I'm betting you guys are probably in this category too, like using every new app out there. Like productivity apps are one of my weaknesses I'll [00:31:00] use everywhere. Do you fall into that as well?
Tim Curtis: Yeah, I've got a couple that I use. Yep.
Colin Gray: Yeah. Anytime I see a new app, I'm like, oh, I need to go try that out. I'm sure that's gonna help me do something slightly better, but to be honest, I've fallen much more into the camp these days of it takes a lot to make me try a new app because most of it isn't really about the app. Most of it's not about the software and the tools. It's about how you use them and your mindset around it, your routine around it.
So, these days, I use much fewer tools, but I use much better tools and I try and go really deep on the ones that I do use. So, for example, we use Notion for just about everything. Where I would've used, like Google docs and Evernote, and Trello for things in the past. Now I use notion for all three of those things. Whether it's taking notes, whether it's organizing projects. I just use one tool really well, and I find that works really well, and that kind of falls right into that digital minimalism camp, I think. What's your thoughts on that guys? Like I'm interested. I'm always trying to get better at.
Erik Martinez: It's funny that you bring that up cause I [00:32:00] am absolutely, these days, I'm app averse. I don't want to download them. I don't want to have to figure out how to learn them. Part of it is that some apps are really easy to use, but most of them are a little more complicated than you think, and they take a lot of thought and energy and time, and I don't have a lot of extra time to spend around figuring out your app. So, I'm kind of with you on the camp of fewer and better tools, go a bit deeper. Now, I may be a little bit of a dinosaur, so some of my tool sets are, you know, still kind of stuck a few years ago and maybe need to be modernized because like, I can't seem to find that one tool that allows me to do multiple things well. That seems to be my big struggle. I keep hoping for it, but I never find it. It's like the holy grail, you know?
Colin Gray: Yes.
Erik Martinez: You're gonna launch mission after mission, but you're not gonna find it.
Colin Gray: That's the thing though. You're always looking, you're always looking. I'm always looking cause you never find a perfect app or a perfect tool. So, you're just always [00:33:00] looking and it just means you waste so much time to test these and learn them.
Tim Curtis: The algorithms work too. So, when you show an affinity for a particular type of device, that's what you're going to be fed each time. Anytime something new comes along from an advertising perspective, you're gonna get it. You know, it's interesting your concept of digital minimalism is very similar to what I've always classified as digital detox.
For me, I have cut down on the amount of app usage, for example, and I've zeroed in around just a couple apps that are high functioning and help me, and a lot of them have an AI component because I want it to learn and adapt to what I'm doing and help me improve and get better. So, there's definitely elements of smart automation and that helps me become more efficient and cutting down on the stuff that I'm doing. There's definite scientific proof to pulling back and going with a bit more of a minimalistic approach, a little bit more silence, allowing yourself to think, giving yourself processing time.
[00:34:00] We had a guest on the show to talk about innovation and she's well known. She's authored books on innovation, and she goes around doing a lot of speaking. Part of her process actually is to take that detox time, if you will, and to engage in exercises where it's really just you and your brain and observing the world around you. Which seems highly unproductive until you recognize that that's where the muscle memory kicks in that is helping you to improve, and really snap in and recognize some of the work that you need to be doing, but you've gotta allow time for your brain to process that. So, whether or not we're talking about a written medium, an oral medium, or a listening medium, like podcast, we've gotta allow time for our own human capacity to process. That's an important part. I enjoy podcasting. I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I definitely also have that time where I'm not listening to a podcast.
Colin Gray: Yeah.
Tim Curtis: Just so I can think.
Colin Gray: Yeah, and that's when the ideas come up, isn't it? You figure out actually what to do with that content.
Tim Curtis: You're running it through a filter [00:35:00] in your mind. Yeah.
Colin Gray: Yeah.
Tim Curtis: I keep a, an area where I jot down ideas and it's important to me to capture every single one. So, when that's firing, I'm filling up my idea sheet.
Erik Martinez: I tend to have a bunch of ideas and I'll remember three of them, but three's better than zero.
Colin Gray: Yes. They'll be the best three. I'm sure.
Erik Martinez: Yeah, hopefully. So, as we kind of move towards the end. You know, I'm kind of curious. You know, you listen to a lot of podcasts and our listening audience is interested in business topics. What are your favorite business podcasts that you listen to? What makes them interesting to you?
Colin Gray: Yeah. The shows that I resonate with are, go back to story, actually. It's the ones that tell the story of doing something really. There was a show that I really loved. I still like it, but it's changed a little bit in its focus over the last year or so, but it's called Build Your SaaS, so Build Your Software as a Service. It was about a pair of guys called Justin and John who run a hosting company called Transistor. So, they were in our industry, in podcasting, and they were building a company and they started it around the same time as us as well.[00:36:00]
So, I was listening to this podcast, hearing their trials and tribulations and troubles and successes too, obviously, but it was like they talked a lot and they shared a lot of honest thoughts about the things they were struggling with and the barriers they were hitting and the things they did to overcome that. I just found that fascinating and I got to know them really well, and I got to know them in real life as well. I met Justin at the event match. Just now, actually, for the first time in person, which was great.
Shows like that I love. They tell a story, and in an honest way as well. You feel like you're actually getting to know the people behind it. So, that's what Build Your SaaS, go back and listen to that. It's probably four or five years old now. There's no reason you couldn't go back and listen to it from the start. And other ones I like are, there's another friend of mine called Craig Hewitt, who runs a few podcasts, like some podcasting companies as well.
He has one called Rogue Startups and another one called Seeking Scale which are really good. Again, just telling a story of their sort of trials and tribulations, and I love Startups for the Rest of Us by Rob Walling as well. Which is another one that just answers questions. He's ran a bunch of companies over the years and mentors other [00:37:00] companies. He just answers questions in a really kind of honest, frank fashion, not short-cutting things. So, yeah, they're few of my favorites.
Erik Martinez: That's fantastic. You just added to my podcast listening list. I found a couple on your website that sound totally interesting too, like Diary of a CEO. That one sounds super interesting. Everyone Hates Marketers, you know?
Colin Gray: If anyone is interested in starting a podcast and we'd love it if you'd listen to our show too. We've got Podcraft, which is all around running a show. So, yeah. I shouldn't be remiss in not recommending my own.
Tim Curtis: No, you shouldn't. For those of you that are considering it, it's great feedback on how to set things up. Actually, part of my studio here were ideas generated from the YouTube channel, so yeah.
Colin Gray: Oh, thank you. Appreciate that.
Tim Curtis: Lot of fun stuff. I built it for a video studio as well, but obviously, I'm not using video as much.
Colin Gray: Like we said earlier, though, that means you're all set to just be able to flick on the camera and create some video alongside your podcast. So, yeah. It's great to have that setup.
Erik Martinez: Well, and apparently he has his first show sponsor there wearing Bass Pro Shops hat.
Tim Curtis: Oh [00:38:00] yeah. Yeah. My hat. Yeah, if only right.
Erik Martinez: Tim has a thousand different hats.
Tim Curtis: I do have a thousand different hats.
Erik Martinez: I usually wear the same one. I didn't wear one today.
Tim Curtis: I should do a podcast on truckers.
Colin Gray: There's stranger podcasts out there. Go for it.
Tim Curtis: Yeah. I'm sure there are.
Erik Martinez: So Colin, as we move to kinda wrap up our discussion today, you know, is there one thing you'd like to leave our audience with, one thought about podcasting or any other topic?
Colin Gray: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing that kills podcasts, if you're interested in starting this if you want to start creating more content. Probably the biggest thing that kills them is what we were talking about earlier is not asking your customers really what they want you to talk about.
The next biggest one is overcomplicating things. Whether that's down to the gear. So, saying I'm gonna start a podcast. I'm gonna go and buy like the best mic I can and plug it into a mixer. So, there's all these settings and it will be a really good quality setup, but it means that there's just more things to learn and to break and to get a little bit wrong.
So, I always recommend just [00:39:00] get yourself a decent USB mic that has no settings on it. It just works. That could be something like the Samsung Q2U is a great little USB mic. Just plugs into your computer. Or the Rode Podcaster is a really good one too. Very simple. Once you've plugged it in, you don't have to worry about it at all. So, that's one part of the simplicity.
The other part is the software. Like, not worrying too much about all the different parts. The software, like if you can tie it all into one, that's great. I'll say, Alitu, that's what we built attitude for, just the simplest way to make a podcast, I believe. That was really our purpose behind it. It does the recording, the editing. It automates a whole bunch of it in there. There's other options out there too if you want to use them as well, but just try and make sure that you put together a really simple routine.
Which means that you can get it out every single week without fail because people just overcomplicate the process. They try and do too much too soon, and that's what kills it really. Just do one thing at a time, simple mic, simple software at the start, and then once you get comfortable with creating great content, once you get to be a good presenter, once you're happy [00:40:00] with the mic and your technique and all that kinda stuff, then you can start to make more complications because you've got the space, the mental space to do it. When you start, keep it simple and just get going.
Erik Martinez: That's fantastic.
Tim Curtis: Great advice.
Erik Martinez: Well, Colin, if anyone wants to reach out to you, what's the best way to get in touch?
Colin Gray: Yeah, sure. We do a bit of Twitter, so that's probably the easiest way. I am The Podcast Host on Twitter. So, just send us any questions. If there's anything we can help with in terms of advice and starting to show or anything like that, just reach out there. We can direct you to some good resources.
Erik Martinez: Yeah, I would also advise going to the website, thepodcasthost.com. Some great content there as well. Found some real, real great nuggets that we be us utilizing. Well, Colin, thank you so much for coming on and talking about this very exciting and diverse medium. I think a lot of our listeners could take advantage of trying this medium and making it a successful part of their business. So, we really appreciate your thoughts.[00:41:00]
Colin Gray: Now, that's most welcome. Always happy to talk podcasting. So, it's great to get the opportunity. Thanks, guys.
Erik Martinez: Yep. Well, that's it for today's episode of the Digital Velocity Podcast. I'm Erik Martinez from Blue Tangerine.
Tim Curtis: And I'm Tim Curtis from Cohere One.