28 – 13 Lessons Learned from Six Months of Podcasting

Nikki and Laura share with you 13 important lessons they have learned after their first 6 months of podcasting! From a casual brunch last fall to 28 episodes and counting, they have learned a lot about the mindset, the planning, producing, editing and launching of a weekly podcast and are excited to share it all with you.

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE ON:

Topics discussed

  • Having a cohost and accountability partner (1:11)
  • The importance of humor (2:02)
  • Getting started (2:37)
  • Podcasts are a lot of work (3:20)
  • Nikki loves bourbon (5:03)
  • Not everything you say is brilliant (5:29)
  • The importance of audio quality (6:03)
  • Complementary skills (7:23)
  • Being organized (8:23)
  • Working ahead (9:04)
  • Interviewing people is fun! (9:57)
  • Everyone is just figuring it out as they go along (10:50)
  • Community over competition (11:34)

Resources Mentioned

Laura

0:01
Nikki, it’s been six months since we hit publish on our first Startist Society episode. Can you believe it?

Nikki

0:08
Honestly, I can’t believe we made it past the day at brunch in Dallas last September when we said, wouldn’t it be fun to do a podcast?

Laura

0:18
Well, miracles happen. But seriously, like we always say the hardest part is to just get started.

Nikki

0:27
No kidding. So let’s talk about the experience of podcasting for six months and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

Laura

0:39
Hi, this is Laura.

Nikki

0:41
And this is Nikki with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.

Laura

0:50
We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

1:03
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Laura

1:11
Okay, so lesson number one of six months of podcasting is having a cohost and an accountability buddy makes a huge difference in creating a podcast. As we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, we wouldn’t dream of letting each other down.

Nikki

1:29
Oh my god, I cannot emphasize this one enough. I have so many ideas about projects, services, products that I want to create and launch, but without a partner to do it with or a client to be accountable to, most of these things never get past the idea phase. So wherever possible, find a partner.

Laura

1:49
Yep.

Nikki

1:50
It’s also important that you both have the same level of commitment, work ethic and attention to detail as each other. We are really so fortunate that we found that in each other.

Laura

2:02
Absolutely true. And lesson number two, we crack each other up.

Nikki

2:09
Oh my god.

Laura

2:11
Literally, I mean, you only hear the half of it. Humor is super important so you don’t take yourself too seriously. And you can keep the process of creating a podcast fun.

Nikki

2:22
Oh my God, if you heard all the things that we do and say before we hit record, we just laugh non-stop, right?

Laura

2:34
We do.

Nikki

2:35
Alright, what’s next?

Laura

2:37
All right. Number three is the hardest part is always just getting started.

Nikki

2:42
Amen.

Laura

2:44
It takes guts to hit publish the first few times. Heck, it still does. But we’re getting more comfortable with putting ourselves out there. Our voices don’t sound nearly as horrible as we originally thought they would. And by the way, the first thing you’ll notice when you listen to yourself on a recording is all the filler words that you use in your everyday conversation. You know, so, um, like, and the list goes on.

Nikki

3:13
Right? Absolutely.

Laura

3:16
There are two more.

Nikki

3:19
All right. What else?

Laura

3:20
Number four: podcasts do not magically appear. They take a ton of work.

Nikki

3:26
Oh my god they do.

Laura

3:29
When we started out, learning all the apps we use to produce the podcast took a ton of time, between planning, recording, editing, creating transcripts, graphics and audiograms, posting to social media, managing the Facebook group. I mean, it’s a lot. But it is so much fun.

Nikki

3:50
So much fun.

Laura

3:52
We have a blast doing it. And the feedback that we receive from you really keeps us inspired. If only we could get paid to do this all day long. Right?

Nikki

4:01
Right. Seriously, when we started thinking about it and planning it, I thought it was going to be a lot of work up front and then we’d get a system down and it would be quick and easy. And we do have a pretty good system going and it’s gotten easier and faster than when we first started. But it is still a lot of work just to come up with the ideas, plan the topics, record, avoid airplanes, barking dogs, make sure you have enough bourbon, edit, transcribe, create graphics and show notes, market it, contact guests to interview, manage schedules, grow a community, grow an audience, etcetera. I honestly thought it would be a few hours a week or maybe one day a week, but it takes so much more time. But, it’s become one of my very favorite things that I do all week. So I totally would not change it. Except to get more efficient.

Laura

4:58
Yes, we’re gonna figure that out one day.

Nikki

5:00
We are.

Laura

5:03
Okay, lesson number five. Nikki really likes bourbon. So much so that she can’t stop talking about it. In all honesty, we have been known to take a shot of liquid courage before we hit the record button.

Nikki

5:19
Hey, I’ve only said bourbon once so far this episode.

Laura

5:22
Well, now it’s two.

Nikki

5:23
Ah shit. All right, moving on.

Laura

5:29
Lesson number six. Not everything you say or record will be brilliant.

Nikki

5:34
Yay for editing.

Laura

5:36
We both have dogs that bark. We have planes and trains that go by.

Nikki

5:41
I just had a helicopter.

Laura

5:42
Yes, a helicopter. Random. And there are days when we literally can’t string together a coherent sentence if our lives depended on it.

Nikki

5:50
Shhh… don’t tell anybody that.

Laura

5:52
It happens. But just like anything, you just keep going, you figure it out, and you get better along the way.

Nikki

5:59
Yep, definitely. Okay, what else?

Laura

6:03
Lesson number seven, audio quality is super important. Now, we use blue Yeti mics.

Nikki

6:11
Sorry, Jason Zook.

Laura

6:13
Apparently Jason hates them. Pop screens and an amazing platform called Squadcast, so that it sounds like Nikki and I are in the same room together instead of hundreds of miles away from each other,

Nikki

6:26
Aren’t we like 1500 miles away from each other?

Laura

6:28
Or something like that, it’s a long distance.

Nikki

6:31
It is, I drove it last fall.

Laura

6:34
We’ll include a link to Squadcast in our show notes. And yes, I often record the podcast sitting on the carpeted floor of my bedroom, which keeps the sound from bouncing around on hard surfaces. And just so you know, many pro podcasters actually record in their closets or in pillow forts.

Nikki

6:54
I need a pillow fort.

Laura

6:57
I also edit our episodes in Adobe Audition, which has some really great tools to enhance your recording quality.

Nikki

7:04
Oh, and thank the God that I don’t believe in that Laura does the audio editing. As a musician, she has a super sensitive ear, and hears things that I just don’t notice. Our audio quality would be so crappy if I was in charge.

Laura

7:20
Yeah, Nikki tells me that I have special ears.

Nikki

7:23
And I mean that in the best way possible. Which relates to my next bit of advice, and also refers back to number one. Our eighth lesson that we’ve learned is it’s so helpful that Laura and I have such great complementary skills.

Laura

7:39
Amen.

Nikki

7:40
Your audio skills, Laura, both in getting us started with the right equipment, recording, editing… and my design and web skills make it so easy for us to do the parts of the job that we each love, and that we do really well. And we have mad respect for each others’ skills.

Laura

7:58
Yeah, Nikki is such an amazing web and graphic designer, you should all hire her.

Nikki

8:04
Yes, you should.

Laura

8:05
And have you seen the cool design of the six page Teaching Live manual/checklist that we did for Episode 25. That’s just another example where I’m great at organizing detailed data and Nikki makes it look incredibly beautiful. Nikki rocks.

Nikki

8:20
Ah, thanks, Laura.

Laura

8:23
All right. This brings us to lesson number nine. Being organized makes a massive difference. You can use a project management tool like Clickup, Notion Google Docs, or Sheets or AirTable.

Nikki

8:36
Or if you’re working with me, be prepared to try all of them because you’re still convinced that finding just the right tool will make you magically organized.

Laura

8:46
Alright, so use one of the tools that Nikki made us switch to. And then keep a running list of topics you’d like to discuss and plan your episodes before you hit the record button. So you don’t go off on a 30 minute tangent about something that doesn’t make any sense to your listeners.

Nikki

9:02
I am sure we have never done that.

Laura

9:04
Never. Okay, lesson number 10. If you produce weekly episodes like us, it’s super helpful to have several weeks of episodes prepared in advance, ready to publish, since life often gets in the way. I mean, you never know when your mom might have a heart attack or you get invited to take an amazing road trip. Which by the way, both things happened to us.

Nikki

9:30
Just within the last couple of weeks.

Laura

9:33
Kind of crazy. You have to have the ability to not be tied to a strict schedule every single week. So by batch recording a couple of episodes at a time that could be really useful.

Nikki

9:45
Amen. Flexibility is so important. And also batching creating graphics episode and show notes, pages on your website. All that kind of stuff.

Laura

9:56
Yeah, all the things.

Nikki

9:57
Yeah. And so lesson number 11, one of my big discoveries was that I love interviewing people. I was terrified before we did it the first time. Thank you to Shannon McNabb for being our first.

Laura

10:12
Thanks, Shannon.

Nikki

10:13
But once we got started, I totally got into the flow and learned that I love it. And I think I’m pretty good at it.

Laura

10:20
You are good at it.

Nikki

10:21
Thank you. Now I want to go back in time to when I had the chance to interview Suzanne Vega for a website I used to run when she came to Paducah over a decade ago and I totally chickened out.

Laura

10:31
Oh man, missed opportunity.

Nikki

10:34
Yeah

Laura

10:34
Nikki, I think you may have missed your calling is a daytime talk show host actually.

Nikki

10:38
Ooh, I don’t want to be on TV, but I’d totally take a radio gig anytime.

Laura

10:43
Like the female version of Howard Stern.

Nikki

10:46
You mean I’m not already?

Laura

10:50
Alright, lesson number 12. After interviewing six artists that we admire, we realize we all start out the same way and are just figuring it out as we go along. No one has it all figured out when they just get started. It’s been comforting and inspiring to see what great things can be accomplished one small step at a time. And our biggest enemy is frequently our own mindset. And this podcast is helping us shift that paradigm.

Nikki

11:18
Absolutely. My favorite part of the interviews we’ve done, and we have some exciting ones coming up in the near future, is hearing their Startist stories and realizing that we are all exactly the same, just in different parts of our journeys.

Laura

11:34
And that brings us to our final lesson, number 13. It really is community over competition. There are so many amazing Startists in our community that inspire us to keep creating new episodes. We love being able to support each other on this creative business journey, and to realize that there really is room for all of us.

Nikki

11:56
That is so true. We hear all the time from you lovely listeners that you find us very relatable, and that it feels like you’re just hanging out with two friends chatting about their lives and art businesses. And that has become the very best part of all of this for me.

Laura

12:13
So Nikki, what are our key takeaways from the last six months of podcasting?

Nikki

12:18
Oh, I can sum it up in one sentence. Podcasting is both easier and harder than I expected it to be. But it’s so much fun and a really great learning and growing experience.

Laura

12:32
I agree 100%. It’s been an exciting journey. tons of fun, an incredible amount of work, but totally worth it. And I want to give a shout out and a big thank you to all of our listeners who make this more than just a couple of geeks talking to each other with a couple of microphones.

Nikki

12:50
Here to the next six months, Laura.

Laura

12:54
Cheers Nikki!

Nikki

12:55
I’ll drink to that.

Laura

12:57
Here’s for the next six months.

Nikki

12:59
So if this podcast has made a difference for you, we would love it if you’d leave us a five star rating and review.

Laura

13:06
We read each and every review and it keeps us excited and motivated to continue making more Startist Society episodes. To access this episode’s resources, you can find the show notes at startistsociety.com/sixmonths.

Nikki

13:21
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

When you purchase something using the links in our resources section, we may earn a small commission with no additional cost to you.
We only promote products and online shops that we use and love!

pinktop

Join Our Facebook Group

Join the Startist Society in our Facebook group where we go deeper into the topics from each episode, share more about what we are working on in our creative businesses and help keep each other accountable.

pinkbottom