Podcast: Things we've learned from starting a podcast

By Alexander Evjenth

Podcast: Things we've learned from starting a podcast

It's been around six months since we re-launched The Onlinification Pod. During that time we've produced a new episode every week, started creating video episodes, and discovered new ways to re-purpose our podcast content. But there's plenty of other new lessons we've learned - so if you're considering starting a podcast at your company, take a listen to this one.

The Onlinification Pod is a big experiment, and this episode was an experiment too - for a change, Anders interviewed me, and not the other way around.

Working on the pod has been a great learning experience for us. Even though podcasts have been big for a long time, we started a bit later, like a lot of other B2B companies. As usual, you learn a lot through trial and error - some of the main lessons for us were about promoting and packaging the content, figuring out the best format, and solving the technical challenges that come with recording from home.

We still have plenty left to learn, but if you have an ambition to produce a podcast for your own company, you can take some lessons from us.

As usual, you can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud, watch the video episode below, or read the transcription if you're in a rush. And don't forget to subscribe - either on Spotify, Soundcloud, or right here on the blog. Enjoy!

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AB: [00:00:00] Hi, this is a takeover of The Onlinification Pod. Most likely this is in the middle of the recording of some other episode. And as the host Alexander, welcome to The Onlinification Pod as a guest.

AE: [00:00:16] Thank you very much, Anders.

AB: [00:00:19] Sometimes I get very, very happy and that is often connected to that someone takes an initiative that I understand and that I like, and perhaps that person says, do you approve this? Can we do this? Yeah, you can do this. Go ahead. The reason why this pod is started, Alexander, could you explain a bit for me the process from that moment until now? Could you tell me a bit?

AE: [00:00:50] Yeah, um, I have listened to many podcasts for many years and working as a content creator, I have been interested in this medium but hadn't really tried it before. And we at Zooma, we started to do some episodes two years ago, I think, with The Onlinification Pod. But then we didn't really have it running. We didn't really successfully run it. We made some episodes spontaneously now and then. And it was actually a session I attended in Boston, at Inbound 2019, talking about podcasts, where one of the host of HubSpot's pod had a talk and he talked about the importance of actually pre-recording several episodes. So you don't end up in this always constantly last-minute recordings just to get something out. And I think I share that idea with you Anders, after that session, that we could try to prerecord a full season, 10 episodes or something and just get used to it and and and gather a lot of content. And as always, you, um, like you said, you are very positive about new ideas. So we tried it and we booked 30 minutes each week, you, me and Stellan and Doug and, um, I think this is about our number 30 or something, uh, recording, and yeah.

AB: [00:02:49] So if I give you a couple of short questions and you try to formulate shortly. Do you enjoy it being the host of this pod?

AE: [00:02:59] Yes.

AB: [00:03:00] Why?

AE: [00:03:02] Because I think the value right now is that when we're working remotely, I really miss these conversations that we have at the office. And these 30 minutes each week gives me that opportunity take part in them.

AB: [00:03:21] So going back to what you learned in Boston and what you took all the rest of us when you came home, how many episodes did you record before you started publishing the new episodes?

AE: [00:03:33] I think we ended at seven or eight. And then we said, now we are ready to publish.

AB: [00:03:41] If you tell me a bit more about the process, so you record once a week, 30 minutes, you still do that or have you changed anything?

AE: [00:03:51] Yeah, each Friday we have scheduled 30 minutes recording sessions, me and Doug, and we invite two guests most often, you and Stellan and others and I. I spend about 30 minutes before coming up with a topic, writing down some questions, and I send it to you, to the guests before. And then we we record for half an hour.

AB: [00:04:23] I told in one episode that we don't know in advance that that doesn't mean that you are lying. It's often that Stellan and I are booked up until the recording starts. So you tell us and we haven't read the email.

AE: [00:04:39] And I actually do it kind of last minute as well. I don't give you a lot of time before.

AB: [00:04:46] Um, if if you now think about that, at least one of the listeners to your pod and hopefully to this episode is our customer. And they are about to start thinking about having a pod like everyone else, as well as having webinars like everyone else. If if you spontaneously give our customers or the listeners or any other friends, sort of your five or three main learnings that you have learned from doing the first sort of 30 episodes, what would that sound like? Your main learnings, or Zooma's main learnings?

AE: [00:05:27] Yeah. The first learning is that it's so much more efficient to produce a podcast than writing articles. So it's a very efficient way of kind of finding that hidden, hidden knowledge in an organization and recording experts about topics and so on. The second learning is that it's very easy to repurpose the content. I just wrote an article on that on The Onlinification Hub and it's like we do short teasers before each episode which we publish on on on our social media, Instagram and LinkedIn.

AB: [00:06:16] And what do you mean by short teasers?

AE: [00:06:20] Yeah, short teasers is, we cut out 30 seconds of an opinion or formulation, a quote from the episode. And we take an image of the person who says, uh, the opinion and we cut in the voice with an audio spectrum, uh, and subtitles. So it's like 30-second videos, which, uh, hopefully intrigue the listener to listen to the podcast, the full episode. And yeah, talking about the learning of repurposing the content is also that we use Sonix, which is a transcription service that transcribes the full episode. So everything we say, we turn to text in no time. And that's a perfect basis to formulate an article. And we do that. We record in English, we also have Swedish blogs, wo we just go and Google Translate the transcript and then, yeah, formulate an article out of it, so so that's the second learning. The third learning is that it's very fun. It's very fun. It's just it's fun to have conversations with colleagues and we get more and more interest from colleagues who want to join now, so, I think it's it's an excellent media for us to engage and and share ideas with colleagues and not necessarily only colleagues. It's a great way to have it with the customers as well and external, which we will do, eventually moving to and inviting external guests as well.

AB: [00:08:36] If I ask you like this, how do you want the pod to be perceived?

AE: [00:08:47] So the the core idea of this podcast was really to make the internal discussion at Zooma available for everyone. And we have limited it to be about digital and online, and conversations about and online. I think, uh, it's very important for listeners to know what kind of topics the podcast is about and to actually spend some time on and listen to it. You do have so many possibilities and there are so many podcasts out there, so. And I mean, this podcast is for for for listeners who know us, who either have worked with us or know us and met us at an event and anything, and yeah, I just want this podcast to be 30-minute episodes where you actually take away something that does help you to launch an experiment yourself, or it's really about talking about ideas you can apply to your company.

AB: [00:10:11] So, Alexander, last question. If one of our customers or anyone in a company would ask you, how do you pick the host? One thing is picking guests. One thing is picking up Doug as the perfect drummer and producer and assistant, and taking advice about the sound of the music and so on. But how do you pick the host, if one of our customers would ask you, with your experience of being a host, how should they pick their host? Should it be an external one? Should it be someone internally or should it be how should they think when they start a pod.

AE: [00:10:52] Yeah. I think it depends on the purpose of the pod. Our purpose is then to, to share internal knowledge to external listeners and I don't think that would work with an external host. I think you need to have someone that kind of knows the guest, knows the topics and discussions, and I think that I don't think you can assign anyone to be the host, it needs to be someone that wants to be the host. And because it's it takes some more time than the recordings and, uh, to keep up with the engagement, I think there needs to be a willingness from the host. Yeah, I think it's very important that you can kind of have a dialogue with any of the guests and you feel confident talking with them.

AB: [00:12:02] I promised that that would be the last question. Never trust someone who says that was the last question. Now you will get a couple of more. What's your main inspiration in hosting the pod, a name?

AE: [00:12:15] I really like Guy Ross. He has a podcast, How I Built This. And, uh, I know that I listen to an episode about how he hosts and so on, but he spends a lot of time researching and and building up. It's not just go up and talk if you want to make like a very great podcast. I really like his take on everything. And I also very much appreciate Joe Rogan's, um, kind of long recordings. You can listen to it for two and a half hours. An interview with Elon Musk, for example. And the first I was a bit skeptic, but then it's, really as a listener, you, feels like you are there and taking part in the conversations.

AB: [00:13:24] I know you have a plan to, uh, have external guests in the pod. Who would be your favorite guest on the subject online and digital. And you cannot answer Stellan or Anders because you have them already. Yeah.

AE: [00:13:39] I cannot come up with a specific name. I think it will be I, you shared an inspiration and was yesterday, and it was an episode with a CEO of an e-commerce company, and they talked really about how they had accomplished something. And I think when we go, the idea right now is that the next season when we have or if it's another pod, but it's external, a guest, we're really going to talk with people who have done something and that conversation is going to be all about how they did it, how they went from A to B and how, so guests that have accomplished something and who are ready to share the story about how they did it.

AB: [00:14:43] Ok, Alexander, thank you very much for making it possible for me to do a not a hostile takeover, but a takeover. And I can say you're a much better host than I am, but thank you for all the answers and thank you from the listeners and from all our friends at Zooma for running this pod.

AE: [00:15:02] Thank you, Anders.

Alexander Evjenth
Alexander is a content creator who has a great interest in learning new things. What he enjoys even more is creating knowledge content.
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