I have a little secret to tell you that I’ve been working on a project for the past nine months and haven’t officially launched it to you! Yes, some of you have probably already seen it, but let’s dive into Launch #4: Living The Fit Life Podcast.
How it started
Seven years ago, I connected with two phenomenal people. Michelle and Adam De Jong, owners of a local gym called Limitless Performance. What I didn’t know is how much impact they would have on my life. It started as a simple business relationship and has grown into a great friendship and many improvements in my life.
I won’t go into the nitty-gritty, but I’ve worked with them on building their web presence and content for their community. We had dozens of conversations about the discipline it takes to write good blog posts. Writing is often a lot of overhead for business owners. Good content takes time to create, and you don’t see an immediate benefit. We spoke several times on how we could streamline content creation for the community. We always had great conversations and good ideas, but writing them down is an additional effort. It seems obvious writing this or reading this that the easy answer was - record it and create a podcast!
Supporting a community
I’ve been part of the community that Michelle and Adam have created over the past eight years. The community is filled with top performers, A-type personalities, hustlers and Rise and Grinders! We are connected by fitness, but more than that, we are bound to Living our best lives. It’s fitness, nutrition, recovery and planning, Living The Fit Life as we like to call it.
Over the past few years, I wanted to be a more significant part of the community, so I would volunteer to help out here and there with various events, competitions and challenges.
The podcast is just another extension of that—something to support and highlight this fantastic community. The podcast started off to help the community. The tone of the podcast is we are talking to our little community of 200 people. It’s intimate; we are connected with the people that we see in our community.
Of course, we want to help as many people as we possibly can, so the podcast is perfect. We can reach out to the community, and in any case, we can grow our community - it’s a cherry on top.
We came up with 5-6 episode ideas, and we hit the record button the first week of September. I don’t claim to be an expert in Fitness or Nutrition, but I feel like I can walk the walk. Michelle and Adam acted as the experts, spilling their knowledge on anything from functional fitness programming to post-workout nutrition. I serve as the facilitator, I have lived the lifestyle that we speak about, and I have an opinion, so I’m not just an interviewer. I am the host, but it’s a conversation, not an interview, as with most great podcasts. The host needs to have a conversation and keep the conversation moving. I have a knack for maintaining a good flow, yes we have an outline of our conversation, but it’s not scripted - we usually have five questions, and we go.
The first few sessions were a little nerve-racking, to be honest. That said, you get into a groove pretty quickly.
26 Episodes in and 2000 Listens Later
The pod just hit a milestone of 2000 listens!
Twenty-six episodes were recorded and launched for you all to hear! I’ve had great conversations, I’ve learned a lot from the guests. The stories and insight into people’s lives are inspiring and motivate me to improve my life. The pod has also given me the extra nudge to try new things, did a Blood Panel, going to trying Joga, and further recovery modalities.
It’s been a blast up to this point; it’s so fun it’s hard to call it to work - which it isn’t. It’s a highlight of my week.
Podcasting Behind the Scenes
Podcasts are all the rage these days. Many “new” tools are emerging to help you with this or that. With any project, there is a stack that keeps the machine running slowly.
The Podcast Stack
Our recording stack has changed a lot throughout the 26 episodes. We’ve tried Squadcast, Riverside.FM and now sitting with Zoom. Nothing has been consistent enough in its performance. The recording quality is good when it records, but it’s too unpredictable.
Having a simple microphone is a simple, easy first step to great audio quality. We also have a Blue Yeti Podcast Microphone for our group sessions. I’ve also found that our guest’s simple apple earbuds work just fine when in a pinch.
After the recording, I take the individual tracks into Adobe Audition and run a few filters to help clean up the audio. Additionally, I add in our intro, clean up any broken parts of the audio. Having the guests on an individual track is a must when you want to do this type of editing.
From there, our podcast is hosted with Buzzsprout, which is a great tool. It has some great features, including “Visual soundbites,” which I will get to later!
Then upload it to Podse to grab a transcript for the podcast. It’s relatively new to the process, but thinking about scaling the podcast and getting better SEO - is crucial.
Staying in Sync
For a while, we used a simple Google Doc to just podcast episodes, scripts, questions, upcoming episodes but over 26 episodes, and it’s grown to be over 30 pages long.
I’ve been using Notion for quite some time for Projekt19, and it’s been an excellent content organization tool. I’ve also seen a lot of great podcasters share their “pod dashboard.” I did some digging around and ended up with an excellent system within Notion to better organize and keep things in order.
Episode database is the core of the setup; each episode has all the properties to help manage the podcast, including recording date, publish date, host, guests, summary, cover image, and final audio.
Since we have a revolving door of hosts and guests, Notion does an excellent job connecting people to episode entires. I set up a guest database and created a property per episode to look back on who was part of what.
Marketing and Sharing
As many know, this is where the rubber hits the road. Recording and launching a podcast to the world doesn’t mean you get 100,000 ears. Fortunately for us, the purpose of our pod was to support our current community. The podcast has access to the gym’s email list and has a good social following.
We launch 3x per month on Thursdays. Send out a newsletter to get into our community members’ inboxes, which was vital early on. Having 150 ears on within the first few episodes allowed us to get up and running with feedback.
Instagram has been our main avenue for social; with the “Visual Soundbites,” it’s been a great tool to get out to a broad audience. Our podcast guests can share; myself and then our experts can also share. We flood the gram with snippets and links to generate excitement.
One thing I would love to improve on is using automation to help scale the marketing channels. Marketing is a lot of work, creating the content and then sharing it with a suitable channel. We are just recycling the content, but it’s essential. I’m sure you’ve seen Gary Vee’s popular content strategy on how to recycle content.
Sharing content is so important to get the content out there. It’s been fun to find ways of creating the content, but it would be nice to click a button and have bite-sized pieces of content that go out to various channels at specific times. Oh, there’s an idea!
What’s up next
The goal is to reach 5000 downloads by the end of our first year. We have some great episodes qued up. We want to double down on transformation stories, we want to increase our community expert episodes, and we’ve started thinking about how we can get some more popular guests. Our recent episode with Heber Cannon from The Buttery Bros was a hit!