In this special bonus episode, Travis sits down with one of the godfathers of podcasting - Eric Nuzum.
Eric created and developed podcasts such as TED Radio Hour, Invisibilia, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and many others and he shares that wisdom and expertise in his new book Make Noise: A Creator's Guide To Podcasting And Great Audio Storytelling.
In this special bonus episode, Travis sits down with one of the godfathers of podcasting - Eric Nuzum.
Eric created and developed podcasts such as TED Radio Hour, Invisibilia, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and many others and he shares that wisdom and expertise in his new book Make Noise: A Creator's Guide To Podcasting And Great Audio Storytelling.
Hey, Travis here now you might be wondering why is there an episode of bus cast in my feet right now? Well ah, we are on an off week, but I wanted to share this interview that I have the unique opportunity of doing with Eric Newsom, who is really has been an influential figure in the podcasting space for years. Going back all the way to the beginning of NPR's podcast division, you might have heard of podcasts such as Ted Radio Hour or Invisibility. A fresh air. Wait, wait. Don't tell me where should we begin? Eric had a hand in making all of those podcasts Come Thio come to fruition and see the light of day. He just came out with a new book called Make Noise, A Creators Guide to Podcasting in great audio storytelling. And I have to tell you, is probably the best podcasting book that I have read, maybe ever. So I highly recommend that you go and pick up a copy of it. But I was able to talk to Eric about some of the main themes and some of the highlights from the book, and I think it will just give you a lot of things to think about That will really help take your show to the next level. So without further ado, here is my interview, My conversation with Eric Nuzum
s. So my name is Eric Nuzum. And I, um, spent most of the early part of my career and broadcast and eventually worked my way up to working at NPR. And I started there in 2004 and Leslie less than a year later. I was in the the cafeteria line at NPR and the guy who was our c e o of the time was behind me, Trying to make some kind of awkward chitchat says, Well, what's interesting that you've seen lately? And I said, Well, there's this podcasting thing and I started explaining to him in the lunch line just gonna make conversation. He's like, Oh, come by and give me a little spiel on it. And so I came. I made an appointment, went and gave Miss Peola. Ah, couple weeks later, he shows back up in my door and says, You have a team of eight and you have 12 weeks, and at the end of that 12 weeks, we want them to be NPR podcasts, like okay, and we are actually delivered it among we got extra month. We delivered it. It was 32 podcasts. And then for the following decade, I kind of remained kind of the editorial lead on NPR podcasts, both figuring out how to take NPR programming and haven't thrive in the podcast world. Sound authentic there. And also making new things that were intended originally to be in that space and did that for a decade. And then, ah, a couple of years ago, probably four and 1/2 years or so ago, I left NPR and went toe audible, which is part of the Amazon. You extended universe and, um, created original the original content team. They're on DDE. Then about a year or so ago, one of my friends and I left and started magnificent noise, which is a ah um which is a podcast production in consultation company based in New York.
And so now you have your first podcast related book, Uh, make noise. Yeah. And I love, as I was going through and and reading it, and specifically one of the things that you harp on, which will dive into about the 10 word description. I was like, Let me go back to the front cover and see if he followed his own rules. You did even got an extra word. Despair. A creator guide to podcasting and great audio storytelling. Um, so why did you feel like now was the time to publish this book that you've been in podcasting basically since the beginning? Longer than just about anyone listening to this episode? Uh, so why did you feel like now is a really good time toe to bring this book out into
the world into promoted? That's a really good question, because I think there's two factors. One, I think we're now at the point where there is such a groundswell of interest in podcasting, that having a book about podcast creation that isn't like tips for equipment to buy or how to make money at it. But it's really focused on how to do something. Well, that's a commercially viable product now. And I don't think even a couple years ago, it wasthe when I've been approached a couple times about doing this over the years, and I'm like, I just don't think it's I think It's a niche product. I don't think it's gonna be worth my time to spend time writing that book. And, um, the last time I was asked about it, I said yes and was kind of shocked at the reaction. And you know where the great things about seeing podcasting evolve is watching at points like this, Um, that this is, you know, a profession and a vocation and a hobby. And there are tools for it, but a book or microphones or recording units or things that were literally unimaginable for five years ago. No, I'm I'm a big fan of the road Castor Pro, which is a little desktop unit. I advocate a lot of podcasters buy because it's $600 containing technology that will cost you 10 $15,000 to duplicate 45 years ago. I mean, that, to me, is exciting and amazing. So first I think we could have matured into being an industry now that can support that kind of thinking and and a product like a like a book. And and the second reason is, um, there's so many new podcasts, and the thing that surprises me is someone who is a consultant for a lot of people. Individuals. And I work with people who are sitting around their kitchen table trying to figure things out up to some of the largest media companies in the world. And the conversations they have are almost identical, even though you have many more dollars, much bigger names. And, um uh, you know, resource is crazy. Resource is compared to people who are trying to figure out how to do this with their friend. Their obstacles are often the same. They're kind of concerns. Oh, our fears of how to get into this. And they get stuck on the same things, too. And so when I started to realize how universal a lot of the problems are that prevent people from being able to achieve what they want to d'oh Um, like there's there's solutions to that. I've struggled through this a lot myself. So I just And I was also worried when when I was first asked about this book that I could write about a chapter and about that would be about it. And so I had a couple days off. For some reason, I sat down, so Okay, I'm just gonna try. I didn't even say yes to write in the book. I was gonna try to write a chapter, and I sat down and thought about what frustrates people. And I just started. And it became very clear to me that there was something to be said to an increasingly growing community of
people. Well, and what I appreciate about the angle that you took with the book is that it's not. It isn't it isn't a book for beginner podcasters in the sense that if you're just getting started, it's a very valuable resource to help you avoid some of those early, uh, Miss stakes classic mistakes. Rookie mistakes that you see. But it's also extremely challenging, even for someone like myself that's been in podcasting for years. Like you start reading through this new like I don't do half this stuff that I even intellectually no, I should be doing um, and 11 that I want to do really spend some time with, because I feel like it would be the most valuable for people. Listening is the 10 word description, because one of my constant wrestling matches is that I as a as a creative outlet want my podcast to be self serving in certain ways, right? Like I wanna wake up excited about making new episodes. I wanna I wanna expand my creativity. Wanna try new things, experiment with new things. But you do a really good job of kind of helping push against that in a really good way and the importance of staying focused and and really being laser focused on Why does your podcast exist where the expectations of your listeners, um, making sure you over deliver on that. So I'd love to. Just maybe, even if you wanted to share the anecdote that you had about your yoga teacher and kind of going through that exercise. So I thought it was a good story, and I think we'll flush out the importance of having a really clear idea of what your podcast
is about. Yeah, I think a lot of my work is just in general, a lot of my work, including this book, is simply taking people's heads and pointing them to slightly different direction. They're worried about what they're going to do whenever someone says they want to do a podcast. And I say, What is it? They often describe it from very features based perspective. I'm gonna I have conversations with women filmmakers about women in film. Wait, that's a feature that's not a benefit, right? And I always try to get people with that perspective. Shift is this is where my history as a broadcaster comes in of Let's think about the audience for that. Okay, let's not think about what you are right at this moment. Let's think it. Let's start with the listener. And so, you know, I, um you know everyone it used be part of my kind of standard stump speech. I would say. Even the yoga instructor down the street has, ah, podcast. And one day I was in yoga class and my yoga instructor came up to me. Hey, can I talk to you after class? My first thought was like, What did I do that required a talking to after class? I'm like, Oh, I didn't want to think about this and I kind of forgot about it. And then he kind of came. He came up to me like that, daring a day later, next class and said, Hey, you know what everybody tells me I should have a podcast and I'm like, Oh, now even my yoga instructor is has a fine Castor was damn a podcast. And so I sat down with him and I started talking about some of the concepts that I used with broadcasters or media people and realized they were far too advanced for where he was that he just had this passion to talk to people. And he had something to say. But he had no idea of how to think about it. And so I ended up drawing on, ah, piece of paper a circle or what became a circle with a couple of points on it. And he kind of developed an exercise that I still use with people all the time, whether I'm doing it on a bar napkin on a dry erase board in the conference room where we talk about who is the audience for this get incredibly specific about who they are and what journey are you putting them on, you know, on. And that's why it becomes a circle. Because all these things filled into kind of flow into each other of asking yourself, What do you have to say to that person once you define them and you get very specific. I make people look up pictures and print them out. We put him up on the wall. We give them names and fake bios, really, And then we consolidate them all into, like what we think the person is. What do you have to say to them? Who are you? What version of yourself for what is your voice in this? What is your perspective, your personality? And then what is the outcome? The desired outcome. And then we get into this exercise that I kind of forced people into and the way I usually do it now, since I I always evolving this exercise is that make people write it, and then they kind of hide it from everyone. And during the rest of the workshop, they could edit it. And at the end of the workshop, everyone reads their versions of these 10 word descriptions that describe your project and nothing else in the world. No one in the room should be able to say, Yeah, there's also another, uh, podcast of women talking to women filmmakers about women's film. You know that there are others. So what makes yours distinct are you focusing on filmmakers in the Minneapolis ST Paul area? Are you talking about a specific age or a specific genre of film or a specific time period in which films were made that include that in your description? So you're literally describing one podcast in the world of almost a 1,000,000 others, right? And that provides you with an editorial lens that you can then use to make all kinds of decisions about what's right for your podcast from its title, how it describes itself. It's artwork, the type of guests you have, the kind of conversations you have the answer of. Those five questions, the basic things that go around the circle in the 10 Word Ex says you have that you have a huge amount of clarity that you never would have had before or spent years kind of figuring out one episode of the time. Many people don't have years to figure it out.
Sure, yeah, Most people starting podcasts aren't funded. It's all you know. It was a dream, right? Yeah. And a microphone. And maybe this will work. And maybe it won't. Um And so and I think something that you if I had to kind of create a second subtitle for your book. It would be saving the world from mediocre podcast trying Thio. And not to say that anyone can't just buy a microphone and start a podcast with their friends. I think it's the beauty of podcasting, but really appropriately matching the expectations that if you dream of creating a podcast, has a worldwide impact and is getting tens and thousands of downloads every single episode, then there's a certain threshold that you need to reach in the quality of your content and in the way that you stay focused on you're laying. And what makes you unique to set yourself up for that kind of success. Um, would you say that that that that is true, or am I totally misjudging?
No, it's it's It's actually quite deliberate. I spent a lot of my professional time kind of looking at things that work that other people do and that I do too. But obviously I do so many things and the rest of the world is a lot of other things. So I spent a lot of time looking at things tryingto kind of deconstruct, why things don't work um, and why they do work and then trying to figure out okay, what's my spin on that thing? That when I from starting my company to the work we did inaudible to lots of things at NPR was the inspiration for a bright idea was actually watching other people struggle with the same problem. And I can't help it apply that to many aspects of my life. And when I, um when I give talks one of the things that surprises people pleasantly that they recognize this because I do it very deliberately is ah, lot of times when you see a podcast for someone with some modicum of success get up on the stage, it's basically show and tell and brag about how great I am and the work I've done. And shouldn't you be grateful to be in the same room with me? And when I, The book has this vibe, too, and I definitely do. When I do the book to her things, I'm gonna do interviews or talk with people. One on one, I celebrate successes, elastic understanding of what success can be, and if you are doing a podcast with to your friends around the table and is intended for 30 other people, and you are passionate about doing it. They love it. That, to me is just is successful as s town or Ted Radio Hour or the Joe Rogan experience with millions of downloads. And you can equally have things that are at that level that end up failing because even though being downloaded millions of times, they've kind of lost their spark. They're not really kind of innovating anymore, so and so forth. So I think that success is really one of the benefits of defining your audience and understanding. Who you're speaking to is it gives you a real clear set of expectations around what success means, and you can have all the passion in the world towards doing a podcast. And if you are out of your expectations are off about what you should be hearing back. What you should be seeing is downloads what you consider to be worth your time. It can deflate that passion, and I think that's that's a crime. You know. Passion is the one thing you can passion curiosity to the two things and podcasting you can't fake. You can kind of get up in the morning, so okay, I'm gonna be passion and curious. Curious? I'm gonna force my way through it. You can't fake until you make it. You have tohave it. And there are people who throw tons of money and podcasting and tons of time that podcasting tons of resource is and they don't have those two things, and they just it ends up kind of flopping. And then they're curious as to why So when I hear someone stand up in a Q and a session and a talk or whatever and they tell me about their podcast, they're making and you can kind of tell in their voice that they're expecting me to be dismissive of them. I'm actually I'm giving them my best thinking of like, Okay, you want to make a podcast for people who net? Yeah, Here's here's three things you should think about. And this is how you could be the voice of a group of people who care about this the way you d'oh! You know, I think that's really important, important thing and and know if you walk into podcasting thinking, gonna make a $1,000,000 or every episode, these have a 1,000,000 downloads. I can tell you now there's no mystery that you're probably in a fair. But if you set your expectations according to, like, I have things to say that I won't be able to sleep at night unless I'm able to say them or I care about something so much that I want to be part of the conversation around that thing. That's passion driving it and all the other markers of success originate from that passion. Joe Rogan didn't get into podcasting. Be for any other reason other than it was fun. He had something to say, and it was basically it was fun. Marc Maron fun, you know, uh, Roman Mars fun, hourglass fun, you know? And then they figured out how to make it into something that was big but started off just being fun.
Yeah, you don't make a podcast so you could be sponsored by cash up,
right? Right. But there are You know, there's this comical New York Times article that came out a couple months ago. This woman she and her friend put out, put out a marketing podcast and stopped a couple months later because they hadn't gotten any sponsorship offers. It's just like it was a lot like, Is this an onion article? It just reads like it's like, What were they thinking was gonna happen? And And I think that, you know, some podcasts that could be very good, embracing what they are and have a fruitful long life and really be a rewarding experience both for the creator and the the audience. They get discouraged and stop because they just they just don't understand how to send expectations. I think that's an important part of the creative process,
for sure. Well, and you touch on this a little bit in the book about the balance of ambition versus resource Is and and you couch it in the terms of like If you're doing a live radio show, there's only so much editing you can d'oh! Ah, but if you have three months toe, plan out this serial podcast thing, you could do a lot more. But even applying that to time and financial resource is for independent podcasters versus the podcast that a lot of people see is being like this is what a successful podcast sounds like. It could be very overwhelming to think well, that's what I have to do to make a podcast. Um, but what kind of what you were talking about accounts a success for an NPR style podcast with a team of 15 people is totally different than someone talking about what their passion about in their bedroom. Um, so I thought that was just a great point that you made in the book.
No, thank you. I think that I'm a lot of people, um, get very confused about the amount of resource they should be putting into something, um, and think that they can spend their way Some companies, if it can spend their way to success. And other people think that I have to lower my editorial ambition cause I only have so much time, and I think both those air absolutely wrong. Um a My company works on a podcast with best April, where she is giving therapy too romantic couples ends called Where should we begin? And then there's another new one we're doing with his stare house work, which is looking at work relationships. And that whole podcast is designed around having a very limited resource, which is s stairs time that she doesn't have time to sit there and spend 15 hours to prep something and write a huge lawn script in whenever we get her in little grabs and dribbles. And throughout her schedule. And so we had to design the podcast. Not about money, not about, you know, you know, we have the best asset we had was the most limited thing we had, which was her time ends. So we kind of figured out how to make a podcast with that as the factor. Other other podcasts of different creative restrictions. You know, I am a believer that creative restrictions, actually editorial restrictions, time restrictions, asset resource restrictions, our inspire creativity because people are want to come up with solutions to problems. So if you don't have a lot of time, we don't have a lot of help. You have a lot of money. That doesn't mean you can't do something really exciting. It just means you have to think about how to work with those realities, right? If I have two arms and I lose one arm, I'm not gonna say Okay, well, I'm done living now. I figured how to live with one arm, right? So if any scarcity of resource is something that is almost any scarcity of resource is something you can kind of counter balance with something else.
So I want to get into some, I guess, a more practical questions that I think will specifically relate to, ah, questions that independent podcasters would have cause that's most of the people will be listening to this. The 1st 1 would be, um, the nature of the launch and how much of early success is attributed to the connections and exposure and the network that you have in contact versus the quality of the content itself. Um, because I know a lot of independent podcasters feel like, Well, I'm in control of making a podcast I'm proud of, But I'm not friends with Mark Mayer, and I'm not friends with Joe Rogan. I'm not a part of the NPR podcast network in getting air time on all those other shows. So for them, for an independent podcaster this trying to pop this, trying to really have a great launch and get some positive momentum, what are the things that they could focus on that might be more in their control?
Well, there's a lot more in control than most people think. I think people look at the resource is that some podcasters have, and they think I don't have that. So I can't set my ambitions high. But there's again. There's a work around for almost everything. Um, I say all this with the caveat that the best marketing plan starts with and a tenacious effort to just make the next episode better than the last one. Like, how can I make it better? How can I be sharper if I'm interviewing someone? How can I think of something? They get something out That conversation. That person has the scent 80 times. If I'm doing a narrative, how can I bring more to the story or tell a better version of the story and just being relentless in pursuing being a little bit better every time you do it? Because you could have the best marketing resources in the world and a crappy show, and it's what you'll see. Or even you see all this all the time. When celebrities jumpin there's a huge splash and then where are they two months later? You know, if they're still doing it, it's not, You know that they're not as high up in the charts. They're not commanding the attention they were. People aren't as excited about because you've heard the reality. And the reality isn't all that great. Um, many times, Not all the time, obviously. But, um, So I think that having great content is key number one and always trying to improve it is part of that as well. S o if you don't know a Marc Maron or you don't know Joe Rogan or don't have an NPR Radio Tokyo are whatever, Um, how can you create something that may not be one friend but is a bunch of other friends? So if you are making a podcast about beekeeping and you are trying to make it a podcast for other enthusiasts beekeeping like where do those people congregate? They congregate in Facebook groups and conventions and newsletters and websites and forums, whatever. Like you could sit there and list off about spending a lot of time. Like, where do these people congregate? And if I mentioned this in the book, it's actually all ideas I have stolen over the years from various guerrilla marketers. Um, that you really have to build a network of people who are connected to this subject matter who have a little bit of influence, even a tiny bit of influence. And if you look at it like if you get 20 people to tweet on your behalf, who are reaching the people you care about or have those friends that's more powerful than one big, huge thing. If you're trying to make a podcast about beekeeping, you actually don't want Marc Maron tweeting about you, cause most of his audience aren't going to care about which talking about. But if you go to the people who do care, find out where they are, build yourself into that community and say, Hey, I'm doing this for our community. Would you like to be part of it? You know the story in the book, I tell, which is which is, which is proven true. Trying time again, which is podcaster I was working with as a client, is like this guy. I don't really charge him very often, but I like this guy. He's like, I feel kind of flat lined. I can't get my my numbers to grow, and I said for six weeks, start off every episode. He's doing a weekly podcast start of every episode with If you love this podcast, I need something from you to help it grow. I need you to tell one person and you tell one. Write an email, a tweet Facebook post. Reach out someone until one person and six weeks went by and I'm talking to him and I called him up and he's like Something's wrong. I don't understand what's happening. What is happening is like my numbers are up 35%. There's no mystery to that. You asked your audience of people who love you and care for you, in his case, where he was already doing like a like a listener support thing that we're giving him money said, Look what I need from you now to really keep this going is just to share it with somebody. And they did it and it worked. I didn't cost a dime is probably. There's an eye, I say frequently, and people raise their eyebrows when I say this, who are larger companies because they spend a lot advertising podcasts. I tell them I have never seen anyone spend a dollar advertising a podcast that paid back. I just don't think it works. I do see network effect of I love this. Listen to it. You'll love it, too. That works, you know, bringing people onto your podcast and kind of you being guests got swapping guest spots on each other's broadcast works, dropping in pro Moe's into one podcast feed works, dropping an episode into a podcast feed. Works like all this stuff works, and it doesn't cost anything. Okay? And if you can't do that on a massive scale Lycan, Radio Tokyo or a stitcher, you could do it on your friends and other podcasters, or find people in like a ring of influence where you can all support each other. One thing I mentioned, the book is fined five other podcasters and agree that every week you're all gonna promote one of you and you just circle it around. So every so every everyone gets a turn being in the spotlight and you spend the other 45 weeks giving the spotlight, and that works, it works way. We figured that out at NPR and NPR still follows those tactics today that we developed a. The best marking we have is just telling people who probably are interested that they would like it well.
And I love how everything kind of comes back. Thio understanding your listener super well, the better you understand the listener, the better able you are to make those decisions about what to include and not including your podcast. Where to find more of them. Ah, how to speak to their their pain points and why they would want to listen to a show like that. So So I love that it all kind of comes full circle now. One other thing I want to make sure that we have time for is you go pretty in depth in the book on the art of interviewing. And I call it the art of interviewing because every single person brings their own sense of curiosity in their own angle of the kinds of questions they'd like to ask in the process that they have. But I would love just to hear you walk through kind of the process of preparing for an interview. What goes into that? Ah, and then even after the interview is done, when you have all the tape that you're gonna have, you have to figure out what's gonna make it into the final episode. What kind of decisions that you make as a producer to really create the best episode possible?
That's a That's an interesting question because of all the things I wrote about in the book, interviewing is the thing that I think I am weakest at and have struggled the most with, Um, uh, you know, there's two basic forms of interviews. One is when you're, like, out in the field working on a narrative story, you're interviewing people who will be part of your narrative story that you're producing. Um, if you have any clip in any narrative podcast that came out of an interview, most likely and I love doing that and actually think I'm I'm competent at it. Um, uh, I am not someone who shines in like a situation like what we're doing. Being the questioner, I find it really difficult for me to do, and I've struggled with it to the point. I don't really do that much of it anymore, because I just I think those other people I'd rather put the position of doing because they're stronger at it, but in my struggles with it, I've learned a couple perspective approaches. That I think really help in the 1st 1 is to stop pretending to be Terry Gross or Howard Stern or Trevor Know our Ellen or whomever you admire who's an interviewer and just trying to be that person like your play acting. And I think that's that's where most interviews go sideways is people forget to just be themselves if you are. If you have a sense of wonder about your subject as Lassie, one asked them If you're curious, Um, you shouldn't be doing that interview. They are the right booking or you weren't the right host for that conversation. And so that's like number 1 80% of problems were solved with that, just that perspective shift. But you know, So let's say you are really curious. Um, you want to go interview someone? I I make my staff do this when we're doing interviews I trained and people that we work with to think like this of you walk into that interview with a plan. You know what you're gonna talk about? You know what order you're gonna talk about things in. You have written out questions. You've debated questions with your colleagues or, if you have them or had something to give you feedback and give you, like, What are we really trying to find out here when we trying to know? Um, what we try to learn and you come up with a real rigorous plan, and then you go into the interview prepared to throw it out if you want to. Um, I often counsel people. We went out in the field recording the other day of like, You know what you need to get in this interview. You know what the table stakes are for this to be an interview, So go in, get that, and then don't worry about the rest. You'll remember questions that were on your list. You'll think of new questions. You'll be listening so you'll follow up on things and just make sure that you have both the discipline toe have a road map of where to go. But then the freedom of allowing yourself to just follow your what? What the moment feels right and trust that that's probably if you find it an interesting subject. Most other people are in your audience. They're also gonna find it interesting. Then you scale this depending on the amount of resource in time you have, Um, you afterwards, what I like to do my processes. I use a program called Descript, which is Ah, fantastic program. Where you dump audio files in It doesn't. Aye, aye. Transcript kind of on the fly, and you can edit the text it actually creates, Ah, pro tools and audition session for you, based off the cuts you make. So we often make the first cut of on interview in the script just based off paper without even listening to it. But you go back in once you've had that you've dumped in description happens like in a minute. And I believe for even in an entry level, you get a certain amount of time that they will do it for free. So it's very low cost, and you look at what you have. You read it and I'd market up like, Okay, this is this section. This is about when they were, you know, learning to play guitar. And this is a section about their first band. And this is a section about that recording contract. This is a section when they brought this song right and I kind of write this. I'm like which we're going to start this conversation. How do I make it flow? And I make a little notes and treat an interview like it's a story like You're actually creating something that is meant to be listened to it and order as if it was you were telling a story and even very technical interview still can follow into that same flow, and that's when you start to end it. And whether you have an hour and edit or 20 hours to edit, there's a version of that process that you can use of. If I only have an hour and it's something and sometimes when urinating on deadline, that's the reality of it. Okay, where are what are the most important beats here? And how do I get rid of everything else? And don't worry about time Because of podcasting, there are no rules. You can make whatever lengthy want to usually make it as good as it needs to be in not a minute longer.
No, I love that. I love that advice. Um, and I was on first reading, overwhelmed by the amount of editing that goes into because your background is NPR, um, some of those shows where it's 15 hours at times of prep for an interview and then that long, if not longer,
with the backside
on the back on the backside to actually create the episodes. Um, and for me, it just gave me a real appreciation for when I listened to a podcast of that quality of a production. Just how much goes into it. But then also on the flip side of that feeling at peace that, you know, I don't have to compete with that. That's not my metric for what I'm trying to achieve exactly, and and that's totally fine. I don't have to be NPR to have a great test.
No, and you could also, you know, think of the reality of what? What if you have time to? I always tell people, Take the amount of time you haven't spent an absolute and divide it in half. Half of it should be before you do the interview and half of it afterwards. And, um, if you only have two or three hours, you can devote to it and there are many people. That's the case. Hour and 1/2 thinking about how you went to the episode hour and 1/2 afterwards to clean it up and get rid of the stuff that doesn't really feel exciting to you. And that's enough. You know, I think any investment of time is a good investment of time. You know, I see some of these people. I just talked to a couple of them for my my media tour of, you know, they crank out an episode of day, you know, they're limited how many hours they have in that day, too prepped for an interview. Do the interview. Cut the interview in post the interview in a day. You know what that's and they turn out good stuff. So sometimes just because, like an NPR takes 15 hours of prep and 15 hours of editing doesn't selling, they mean it. But they end up with something that's 15 times better than the guy who was an hour to prepare in an hour. Edit afterwards. I think it's a false construct.
Final question for you. What would you say is the piece of advice you find yourself giving most often to people that are just getting started or on the front end of their podcasting kind of trajectory.
I often tell people, um, forget about format and function and worry more about function like, Who are you talking to and what's your message? If you want to make a podcast about the future and you're really excited about the future, and then the future is full of great things, that's a very different podcast that if you think the future is dire and maybe the end of our species or what have you got those two very different podcasts. So when you say you want, even when you don't have a podcast interview with people about the future, what does that mean? What does your message, your attitude, what you're bringing to it, your perspective and spend as much time thing in the questions about like, what format should I have? Should I have a co host? Should I have any people? Tried the interview it wants. All that stuff is like the last thing you think about and just spend time thinking about Who are you? What do you have to say and who you want to say it, too, and that most people don't take the time to think that through, And that's why most people struggle