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Aug. 31, 2022

Lessons Learned In The First 10 Episodes

If you’ve been listening along with the Towncast Podcast to this point, you’ll know that I (Towncast Joe) am something of a newbie behind the mic...

Even though I’ve been working in podcast production for years, hosting and creating the Towncast Podcast has continuously proven to be both a humbling and a learning experience.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning along the way with me so far, as much as I’ve enjoyed putting the show together. We’re only just getting started here on the Towncast Podcast!

And now, as I sit here and write this blog post for episode 11 - and looking back on the past ten episodes - it’s amazing how much I’ve learned so far.

So in this episode, and in this blogpost, I’ve decided to outline some of lessons learned so far. I’ve tried to condense them into a few, key points that will, hopefully, be easy to grasp & implement into your own workflow.

Be sure to grab your copy of the bonus takeaway for this episode and blog post! For this episode, I’ve created a helpful Q&A that should get you thinking about how you can implement these ideas into your own work.

Ok - let’s get started!

#1 - Use templates

As you go on creating content, you’ll find that there are certain steps along the way - recurring information, elements, or processes - that consist of the same or very similar components. 

For example, you may find yourself…

  • Reciting the same, scripted intro and outro for your show, episode after episode
  • Writing the exact same footer for your blogposts every week
  • Using the same hashtags for all of your social media posts
  • Dragging the same piece of music into your podcast edit, and making the same adjustments to it

Enter: templates! 

Templates are pre-built, easily replicated designs that increase both efficiency and consistency.

Templates are one of the most valuable resources I can think of in this line of creative work. 

Depending on where you’re using templates, the process may look different. If you’re dealing with copywriting, it may be a simple matter of copy-and-paste. If you’re working within a DAW and editing your podcast, you may actually create a template within the software. 

Usually, the templating process looks something like this:

  • Create one version of something that you’re happy with
  • Want to make something similar? 
  • Make a copy of that first iteration
  • Save the copy with a new file
  • Use that new file to create your new asset!

Start thinking about ways that you can increase your efficiency by using templates. 

But the above step-by-step process can be implemented and experimented with in many different contexts.

#2 - Work in bulk

Whenever possible, try to work in bulk! This might mean recording multiple episodes in one studio visit. It might look like writing show notes for a bunch of episodes in one sitting. Or it may look like spending an entire workday doing research, and compiling information for future episodes. 

Sometimes, we may feel more inclined to work towards the bare minimum. And I want to emphasize, there’s nothing wrong with doing only what you have to do! Sometimes, it’s that all that time, energy, or other resources permit.

But working in bulk is more like thinking about your future self. It takes a bit of discipline and planning, and it sure isn’t always easy. Heck, it’s not something I do as often as I would like for the Towncast Podcast! But each and every time I have done it, I’ve been happy that I did. It leaves you feeling good, and well ahead of the curve when you get to work the next time.

Plus, if you use your time wisely, it doesn’t need to take any more time than you would have spent working otherwise!

Sometimes, working in bulk is really just a matter of sensing what kind of work you’re in the mood for, and then adjusting from there.

#3 - Work ahead!

Working ahead is similar to working in bulk. Make no mistake - the two certainly go hand-in-hand. But working ahead is more of a foundational principle that I’d like for you to consider implementing within your workflow as early as possible.

For example, from the very beginning, it’s a great idea to build up a stock of episodes before you even begin publishing. And then, from there, it’s a great skill to be able to continue working ahead in this way as you continue.

For maximum effectiveness, try combining bulk-working with a habit of working ahead. The earlier you can integrate these strategies into your workflow, the better off you’ll be!

#4 - Find your comfort zone (even if it means breaking out of it!)

With lesson #4, I’ve combined a few different points into one. 

In essence, the point is this: take care of yourself. 

Here’s something that’s pretty universal, no matter who you are: stay hydrated! Have a drink of water before you record. It may sound silly, but it can really help to keep a good exercise routine. Think about your diet a bit. All of these things can have an impact on you, and thus, the quality of your content.

This looks different for everyone, of course. The point is to find your comfort zone when recording, writing, editing - all of it. It can be a lot of work, and so it pays to be in good shape - physically and mentally!

Try not to overwork yourself. Remember there’s nothing wrong with taking breaks. Walks are great. Spending time outside.

Going a little deeper into that…

I suggest spending some time thinking about when your energy level is the highest. For some people, this may be first thing in the morning. For others, it may be at night. Others yet, their peak performance may occur sometime in the afternoon. Whenever it is, use that to your advantage whenever possible. Specifically, what I mean to say is: record during these times. You may find that you sound your best!

#5 - Just get started

The last item on the list is the simplest one: just do it! This is for those who may still be facing some self-doubt about whether or not they are capable of creating a pod, video, or towncast. 

Or doing anything for that matter!

No matter what your dream is, no matter what you want to achieve, the first step towards doing it is believing you are capable of it yourself. That dream of yours exists for a reason - you dreamt it! It came from somewhere inside you. Clearly it is something that you have visualized or imagined for yourself. So, why not go for it? 

Whether your thing is podcasting, starting a business, helping others, or starting a family, start by visualizing yourself happily situated in that scenario. Make a habit of doing that. From there, set some small action-steps to get you started on your way. Track these small goals en route to your larger ones. And then, perhaps above, always remember to believe in yourself. If self-doubt ever creeps back in, visualize yourself where you want to be and take stock of all that you have achieved thus far.

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Grab your copy of the bonus takeaway here!

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Thank you for reading!

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