Turn Up The Volume On Your Voice

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How To Keep Your Podcast Process Simple

by Charlotte Foster
July 12th 2021

This week I'm sharing 5 of my favourite hacks to keep my podcast process simple and efficient.

My podcast process can be split into 3 parts

Before recording


Aft... More

Welcome to the turn up the volume on your voice podcast with charlotte Foster. Hello, welcome to this week's episode of turn up the volume on your voice. I hope you are. Well, I'm going to start off this episode by asking for your forgiveness because this episode was inspired by the spider that lives in my shower. So that's two things that have possibly upset you. The spider image and the image of me in the shower. Apologies. Try and get rid of it from your head. I know the more I talk about it, the harder it is. But yeah, it's just it's quite an important story because the spider who lives in my shower and I'm gonna refer to her as her because all spiders a female and let's be honest, they're all called charlotte fact, because if you didn't read charlotte's web as a child, then I'm very sorry for you and you won't get a reference. I'm not just saying all creatures should be called charlotte because I'm called charlotte and I have this really inflated sense of importance about myself.

I mean we all know that I've got that. Anyway, so mm that's a given. But the story book charlotte's web is why all spiders are called charlotte. Anyway, back to charlotte. The spider who lives in my shower. She's been now I reckon for about two weeks now and she is not budging. She will not move. And it turns out because I've done some research on this. She could be up there for up to two years because that's how long spiders can live for, totally auditioning for a gig on autumn watch right now with that fact. But what on earth does this have to do with podcasts and what does it have to do with how to keep your podcast process simple. Well, let me tell you the shower in my new house is a lot smaller than the shower in my old house. So that means I'm a little bit more up close and personal with her that I would be in the old house and whilst I don't hate sharing the shower with a spider so much that I would go and have a bath instead, I'll be honest, the whole time I'm in that shower I am doing my absolute best to get out as quickly as possible because I'm imagining the spider will land in my hair or worse my face in a kind of I'm a celebrity style bush tucker trial, but with only one spider and without ant and dec.

So what does that mean? It means I have upped my shower efficiency game. I didn't know I had a shower efficiency game to up either until charlotte arrived in the shower. Now you don't need to know what my shower routines are. Either pre or post spider arriving. But let me just tell you now it is a much quicker affair now than it was our lot less fat thing. And because I can't do anything in my life without bringing it all back to podcasts, it actually got me thinking about what I do to make making this podcast and all the episodes that come with it as pain free and as quick as possible. But obviously without rushing it and making it bad. So I'm going to start by talking about the podcast process and what I mean by the podcast process, we break it down to its most basic A process is simply a series of steps and actions that are taken to achieve a particular goal or end. So in this case our goal or end is the podcast and all the episodes in it.

And this is my podcast process for recording episodes for this podcast. When I work with clients to do their podcasts, things can be done slightly differently because there's more of us involved, but in this instance, when it's just me, which I'm assuming is going to be very similar to what you're going to be doing, this is how I do it and it can be broken down into before recording recording and after recording, if I was feeling all fancy pants, I would call it pre production, production and post production, but I'm not feeling very fancy pants right now. So we won't go there now in the before recording time. I am planning during the recording section time. I am guess what? Recording the podcast and editing it, even though technically editing is post production, I put them together because they tend to happen at the same time and then there is the after recording time and that is when I'm getting my episode out there.

So here are my tips for making your podcast process as simple as possible. And number one, the top tip, these are not in any order, apart from this one, this one goes first because if you're not going to listen to anything beyond this, I want to make sure that you listen to this bit and my number one tip for making your life easier when it comes to podcasting is planning. Planning is quite simply the best hack there is out there. This is how my planning goes. I will start off by doing a quarterly overview every quarter. This is where I decide the topics and the working titles of my podcasts, so I will come up with 12 things that I want to talk about in that quarter. That is relevant for that quarter. Sometimes a quarter will have just one overarching theme. Others, there may be a couple of themes out there. So if you've been listening since january, you'll know that in quarter one, I spent a lot of time talking about starting a podcast.

In fact, all of quarter one was about starting a podcast this quarter, there's actually been a mixture. So, I've been talking about Summer issues and I've also started talking about a live podcast recording That's taking place on July 30 if if you want to be part of that, and I would love you to be in my virtual audience. Show notes is where you can find the link, Quarter four. So coming up in October yeah, that's right. You're going to hear about planning your podcast for next year. So that's my court in the overview, Understanding what I'm going to be talking about each quarter and then breaking it down into just 12 episode titles. Working titles as well. They're not the final, necessarily the final title that goes out there every month or every few weeks. I will do a monthly sent check. I will look at the topics and the titles that I've already said I was going to be talking about and check and just make sure that they still feel right to talk about what has happened since I planned these.

Do I need to change them? Do I need to respond to anything? obviously the past 18 months has taught me and of course you a lot about changing things at short notice, hasn't it? Just, but it doesn't have to be a global pandemic that knocks your planning off. Course, it could be a new development in your subject, it could be a new development in your industry and you trend such as clubhouse. Remember clubhouse Yeah, How's big back in january and february, wasn't it? Or it could be a controversial moment that needs examining. So at the beginning of the quarter to I haven't thought I was going to talk about the unlocking of lockdown, but I did end up talking about it because it was just starting to brew up a little more. So when I was doing my monthly sent check planning, it just came to the point where I was like, I think I need to talk about this and I could change things around now, interestingly I didn't do an episode about clubhouse, but I did consider it because people were talking about clubhouse is going to end podcasting because everyone's just gonna do clubhouse rooms and I thought that was a little bit too soon to be saying.

I wanted to wait to see how it panned out and I think I was right on that one. Then I do weekly episode planning. So this is where I get down to the nitty gritty, I get that title and I will then chuck on the chuck on the words, I craft the episode, that is exactly what I do. So the weekly episode scripting and writing is that now when it comes to get into the weekly bit, I am not afraid of chucking out what is planned and responding to what is out there as well. So it's not just a monthly sent check every week I'm going, is this the right episode to go out? Because last year I did a totally unplanned episode that got changed on the day, it should have gone out, I record, I rerecorded it because everybody was talking about podcast cover up literally everywhere I turned online. People were asking questions about podcast cover art. So I went, I'm going to write and I'm going to do an episode about this because quite frankly, it's being talked about at the moment and it just makes sense.

And it fitted in nicely actually with what I was talking about in that quarter. It wasn't completely off kilter, but it meant I could do that and I just went in and did it and it didn't upset the apple cart and because I had all the plans around, I felt confident enough that I could do it even though I hadn't planned it. Does that make sense? This is what I love about this way of planning, because I know that I've got all my episodes mapped out. I am I'm good to go until the end of september at the moment and probably couple of weeks. I'll sit down and do my quarter four planning and I'll be ready for the end to the end of the year. That is a huge weight of my mind and it doesn't feel like too much to do to just come up with 12 episodes. That's it. I'm not coming up with 12 fully scripted, fully written, fully planned out episodes. It's just 12 episode titles and knowing roughly what I'm going to talk about because then when it comes down to doing that weekly one, I've got, I've got the starting point. I'm not just staring at a blank page and wondering what did I do last week, What am I doing next week?

Just everything flows, everything works and I'm rarely start with a blank page anymore and that helps things along nicely. My next big tip is time blocking. You may have heard of time blocking, but for me, time blocking is making an appointment in my diary for my podcast, planning my podcast, recording and then sticking to it. I've been time blocking my business stuff for a while and actually I've been time blocking my personal stuff as well. That sounds weirder than it was meant to, but just bear with me, it does take some getting used to, it does take some kind of sort of oh, I don't know what to do. Shall I shall I do this here that there and it takes some getting used to have not canceling it either. But you've got to treat those appointments as set in stone where it is right to however, I have had to start reviewing my time blocking strategy because it all went a little bit haywire during the run up to the house move during the house move and it's never really fallen back into the routine.

So it's all been a bit all over the place. And that's part of the reason why I've had to change the day that the podcast episode goes out. It's just not felt right on top of that with personal stuff. I've gone back to doing morning gym sessions and morning runs. So my early work starts, which had been getting into doing just haven't happened and I was getting so disorganized. Let me just say if you have been waiting for an email for me, you will get it this week because I'm back on it up. But by now understanding my week, how it works, the flows what I'm doing and my productive points in the day, I am much more productive and much less stressed. Making an appointment in my diary for my podcast is no different to me making an appointment in my diary for a client's podcast or client work or anything like that. In fact, it was a conversation I had with Janet Murray.

She is the queen of courageous content by the way and which made me realize that I have to treat the work I do for my business, which includes this podcast. I have to treat it as importantly, if not more importantly as the work I do for my clients. I am, I should Be and I am my number one client and it's the same for you and your podcast. Make it as important as your client work. And that way you won't skip it, you won't fanny around with it and you will not miss a deadline or appointment. So go to your diary, find a time that you can do each week and make it a regular meeting or appointment. Make it the same time of day and the same day each week. So then it becomes a habit and then you get used to doing it and you know that having that regular day that is podcast day and you will start to look forward to it in the same way we will start to look forward to friday because friday means the beginning of the weekend. I'm not saying your podcast is like the weekend, but it could be, couldn't it?

I think that's a new way of doing it. Here's another way of making sure that you get on with your podcast. My recording set up is always set up. It is ready to go and that's because quite simply I am lazy. Okay, well maybe lazy is a bit harsh, but some days I'm sure you get these days as well, Sundays, if there are obstacles in my path, I will choose to make a cup of tea before clearing those obstacles that cup of tea leads to another and then well look at the time, it's practically lunchtime. So there's no point cracking on with anything that involves a bit of heavy lifting is it? No. And then of course well I'll have another cup of tea before I get going and so on and so on. You get my drift. Right. So the best thing I can do is remove those obstacles so that when those days come along I don't fave about and drink tea and the occasional coffee with a bit of frothy milk to waste a bit more time. I don't, I can just get on with it.

One of the best things I've done actually is to have my recording set up permanently set up. In fact, once we moved after making sure the bed was assembled and I'd put clean bedding on the next thing I did was set up my recording set up in the new home office. It just means I can't put off the recording of the podcast because I've got to unpack the microphone and connect it up and connect the recorder up here and make sure it's all sorted, make sure everything's right. It's a small job, right. It really is. But how many times have you put off doing something because you had to do those additional steps to make it happen. It's a bit like putting your gym kit out in the night before the morning. You have to go to the gym, it's there. You can't make an excuse that you can't find your sports bra or you can't find your joggers or whatever it is, it's there, it's ready, you've got it, you've taken the obstacle out of the way and of course having my recording kit, not my gym kids already and out.

It means I just hit record and crack on now. I appreciate that that might not be appropriate for you in your space. But taking down some of the barriers that are up there for when it comes to recording is a really good idea. If you've got a USB microphone that you just plug into your computer, keep it close to your computer. So you don't have to go and get it from another room or another space or another part of the office. It's there, it's ready to pick up and plug in, go, go, go. Or you could set up your kit first thing in the morning before you make that first brew of the day to the day that you know that you are going to do your podcast recording, have it all set up before you switch on the computer before you do anything else. It's just part of your set up routine. So it's, they're good to go essentially. It is making it simple for yourself, not saying you're lazy, I'm lazy, I'm making sure things are simple for you.

My next thing that I do is use apps. Use apps to help you where you can. My favorite podcast related apps are the ones that make my life easy peasy. Lemon squeezy. So if you want to do some social media promotion for your podcast, A great way to do that is to grab a section, grab a little clip for audio gram or take quotes and write them out and put them on instagram posts. There are apps that will help you do that. Headliner is one such app, you select the clip you want that, you want an audio audio gram. Upload it and then either use one of their templates or you can have your own image as a background and then automatically pops the captions on and you will need to do a bit of tweaking because it's a I captions so it's never going to be perfect but it's a little bit tweaking and boom, you've got your audio gram, which you can then download and put out there. Or I think you can automatically send out via them as well. So if you, if you link up your twitter or social media unique and link it up and do that as well.

Some really useful. The script is another tool you can use upload the audio, you can edit it, it's quite magical. Descript, you edit the recording in the same way you edit a text document because you get it transcribed and then you just cut and paste the words that you want to get rid of. Is it as perfect as editing in a audio editor has its moments, it can do better. But actually, if you just want to get rid of little bits here and there, it does the job brilliantly. And you can make audio grams from it as well. So the captions are already there from the transcription. And depending on your subscription level, you can either use their templates or upload your own as well. And of course there is canvasser who doesn't love canvas. Right? I adore it. And what's good is I've got my templates ready in my brand colors in my brand font. My templates are ready to go. So all I need to do what I'm posting is if I've got the old quote post, I've got it already, the blank spaces there.

I just need to find the quote. I want pop it in the space that is left to be filled, download it from Canberra, uploaded to instagram jobs are good and, and if you want to see how much fun I have in Canada. I do recommend you follow me on instagram at charlotte Foster podcasts because I just go wild and I probably shouldn't, I'm clearly not a designer, but hey, it's all good fun. So that's just a couple of apps that can be really useful in the getting your message out there part of things and last but definitely not least get your podcast transcribed. Not only does transcribing a podcast, make it far more accessible and help with people being able to find it through just online searches, it's also a brilliant way to buy back some of your time. You can use a transcription as the basis of a blog. Now either you can write this blog yourself or you can get a copywriter to work their magic, but they've got your voice straight away.

And my favorite of course this is the perfect way to get those quote post for social media. Just cut and paste. Perfecto. There's a lot of different options for transcribing, as I mentioned just a moment ago. If you use the script for your editing, then you get transcription as part of your package different levels. So do check what level you're on. The free level of the script only gives you three hours like lifetime three hours of transcription. And if you're only going to use descript for transcription purposes, then I would suggest there are better value options out there for you to use rather than just using descript. However, if you're going to use it for editing, if you're going to use it for everything else that it offers, it's not bad. Now I tend to use real life humans for my transcriptions. So an actual person that has a transcription business or if I'm working out of normal office hours quite afternoon, um I'll use rev dot com now. Rev is useful because it means I can send the audio off for any time of day or night and I get it back relatively quickly super quickly if you pay for the fast turnaround.

Although I rarely do because it's quite quick on the standard to turn around. Rev also has an ai option which is cheaper than the human option but of course less accurate. There's others out there as well, such as Otter and happy scribe. Now there's just the two I can think of off the top of my head. There's others out there such as otter and happy scribe, just who that I can think of and their ai based ones as well. Um, but I do prefer personally to use a service, local service with a real life person in an effort to support other small businesses. It's just, I just think it's nice. Um, but it's up to you, it's there. So those are my five tips to make your podcasting life a little bit simpler. Do you let me know if they're useful for you? And of course I'd love to hear your tips very simpler podcasting life to let me know what you do, what your hacks are, You can get in touch with me in all the usual places.

So I'm on linked in charlotte Foster. I'm on, where else am I instagram? I've just mentioned it at charlotte Foster podcasts and on twitter at cf podcasts, Look after yourself, and I'll see you next week.

How To Keep Your Podcast Process Simple
How To Keep Your Podcast Process Simple
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