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virtual summit tech

Creating Big Events through Small Details: Why Virtual Summits are the New Webinars with Jaime Slutzky (AoL 076)

As a creative, one of the biggest ways to get your name out on the web these days are through is through webinars.

You show up, give your presentation on your topic, and then, if everything goes right, you’ll soon see people signing up for your newsletter or, better yet, buying from you.

However, in a world where there are those of us who haven’t made a name for ourselves, or simply want to have a large event, a solo webinar might not be the best choice for you to promote your services or products.

That’s where virtual summits come in.

Like a conference, a virtual summit is a collection of speakers discussing one topic.

But unlike a conference, you can host it on the web like a webinar. Which is great! Virtually no overhead and no one has to travel to receive the information.

In my chat with Jaime Slutzky, founder of Virtual Summits Tech, we discuss more about the topic of virtual summits, how she got into helping people with them, and some of the keys that will make your next one a success.

As always, thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How Jaime got started in Computer Science as her major. 7:28
  • What got her interested in being in web design? 11:51
  • What made her pull the trigger to kick her corporate job? 14:00
  • How did her immediate circle of influence take the news she was leaving her corporate job? 15:19
  • Where did her first clients come from? 16:50
  • What early hurdles did Jaime overcome in starting her business? 21:09
  • What is a virtual summit? 26:08
  • Why would someone host a virtual summit vs hosting their own webinar? 27:31
  • What are some of the key parts to having a successful virtual summit? 28:48
  • How exactly does Jaime help her clients with their virtual summits? 32:01
  • How does someone find the right kind of guests for a virtual summit? 37:46
  • What’s Jaime looking forward to helping people with in 2017? 41:34
  • Who are three influencers in Jaime’s career? 44:05
  • One gift she likes giving others 45:01
  • What would she do tomorrow if woke up as the 10 year old version of herself with her memories intact? 46:53
  • What is one thing all high school students must know? 48:59
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 49:54
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Create PayPal Link to Use Inside Emails:

Shared Website Hosting:

Updating WordPress to Keep Your Site Secure:

Session 38 of Copy that Pops Podcast with Laura Petersen:

virtual summit tech
virtual summit tech
virtual summit tech

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

successful site

Getting Started on the Web (Part 3): 6 Characteristics of a Successful Site

Back in early summer, I wrote a couple of introductory pieces discussing the process of getting a website up.

In part 1, we looked at some of the different types of ways that you could easily get something up. We also discussed that it’s going to take some time to get your website up and a little bit of ingenuity and technical prowess.

In part 2, we dug a bit deeper into the process. We looked at hosting types as well as a free way to get a professional website up once you had your domain paid for. We also dug a bit deeper into discovering what WordPress is and more of its in’s and out’s.

 

What’s Vital to Your Site’s Success:

In this third part of the series, we’ll be looking more into the vital functions that your site has to provide people who access it if you’re looking to do business through it. This information holds true whether your site reflects simply you as an expert or thought leader all the way up to a new tech startup.

One thing to note about this list: start with the top and work your way down. You don’t have to do it all at once, but it will pay off to eventually have all 6 components in your site.

Let’s get started.

 

Provides Valuable Content

In a world where there’s so much information on the web, you have to let people know what you’re about. Having free content through the form of a blog, through a podcast series, or through videos are the three main ways people deliver that content.

A huge benefit to you for providing free regular content is recognition by Google. It will rank you higher than a site that is static and isn’t adding material.

 

Blogging:

The blog is the easiest of the three to provide. For one, it’s built into your site if you’re using WordPress. Secondly, you really don’t have to do much to get it going other than knowing how to write. Preferably,  in a way that reaches your audience on a base level – much I do here with you.

If it’s the first time you’ve ever written in length on a regular basis and you’re simply not used to it, try and copy the writing style of your favorite blogs.

For example, if you have very detailed writing and want to use a lot of step by step instructions in your writing, then check out videofruit.com and emulate how Bryan Harris writes his posts.

If you’re more casual than that, then another one of favorites, of course, was and continues to be the SPI Blog.

 

Podcasting and Videos:

Getting a podcasting or video feed started on your site is similar to getting a blog started. However, unlike the blog, you’re going to have to create your content through other means than simply typing it up and posting it.

If you want to know how to get a podcast going, I’ve posted a basic tutorial of how to do that starting here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t started in the video world yet – so I can’t help you on the basis of that yet!

Looks Great on Mobile:

Half of all traffic on the web today is done through mobile devices – if not more. That means, if you’re site looks like junk on a phone or tablet, then those users aren’t going to be too thrilled about coming back.

Also, make your content easy to get to. If you’re using awkward dropdown navbars or other outdated means of getting to content quickly in just a couple of clicks or presses, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.

 

Simple for You to Manage:

Back in part one of this series I mentioned that you’ll need to have some sort of technical know how to have a website and post to it regularly. When using WordPress, especially, you’ll need to know when it’s time to update plugins, how to write a new post, and upload pictures and other media to those posts.

Learning how to do this takes a bit of time. But if you’re one of the types of people who forgets technical details as soon as you learn them, you might need another option. Perhaps using Squarespace or Kajabi would be more your style.

Remember you normally have to pay for simplicity though!

 

Allows for People to Subscribe to a Newsletter or other Notification System:

People like being reminded about things, because let’s face it, we all get busy. Newsletters are beneficial to all of us. It’s really how I keep track of what people are doing.

That said, you’ll be doing the same thing. You’re going to need some sort of freemium (or opt-in) that will allow people to submit their email (or phone number) to you. In return, you’ll get some sort of product or service that gives an example of how you can help them.

 

Easy for People to Share and Follow:

Social media is what people are focused on these days for their news around the world. Like you and me, they probably want to share what they find online in a given day.

Your site needs to make that process easy-peasy. Make sure that you have social media buttons scattered throughout your site. This will allow people to share content with a few clicks.

If you use a sidebar on your site, have one of your social media feeds in it. It can be a feed of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – you name it! Just have it over there for social proof.

 

Accept Online Payments:

If you have products for sale, you’ll want to be able to sell them through your site. Being able to accept online payments is important in having a successful site to most online entrepreneurs.

However, you might notice that some sites don’t have have options to pay online. More than likely they’re utilizing a process called affiliate marketing where the transaction happens behind the scenes.

Most podcast centric sites work through this process – unless there’s a membership involved with the site like Fizzle.

 

Action Steps:

If you’ve started a website using the previous two segments of this series, great job! You’ve taken important steps to get recognized as the creator you are.

Your next step, is to implement these 6 characteristics into your site. It’s a new year, so there’s really no better time! Get it done as soon as possible.

Again, don’t think you have to do it all at once. If you haven’t started adding content regularly to your site, start doing that first. Then work your way down to the bottom.

find your niche

Emily Kelly on Finding Your Niche, Working Remotely, and Mastering Empathetic Writing (AoL 069)

When first starting, many of us have problems with being an entrepreneur in one way or another. Our main issue, many times, is we simply don’t know where we fit. We’re told to “find your niche” and often times, we find it hard because we could do so many things. However, we need to learn what it is that we do well and hire out for things we’d rather not.

Over at Fizzle, for example, Chase and Corbett hired in Steph Crowder to help with customer support back in 2015.

Steph, having worked at a few startups by that point, knew how to interact with clients on a one to one basis. It was something that Chase, who’s the main creative at Fizzle, and Corbett, the business brain, didn’t have the resources to do themselves.

In our interview with Steph in 2016, we learned that she was expecting soon.

They had to get a fill-in for her while she was on maternity leave.

Today’s guest, Emily Kelly, was the hero for Fizzle during that time.

But, just because she was with them temporarily, doesn’t mean she was bad at the position.

In fact, it was part of her new role as as a virtual customer support specialist. She has taken the phrase “find your niche” seriously.

In this interview, we find out about her journey to become a virtual assistant, what she recommends to folks coming right out of college to keep them from getting burnt out at work, and some pointers in putting emotion into writing.

If you’re thinking about about starting your own business, perhaps being a virtual assistant first might just be in the future for you as well.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What kind of career did she envision as she was going to school? 8:02
  • Which creative influences did she have in her life growing up? 10:52
  • What it was like to have her dad working remotely growing up. 13:15
  • When was the first time Emily had experience with entrepreneurship herself? 14:47
  • What was it like to work at a startup vs where she previously worked? 18:13
  • What advice would she give someone who’s coming out of college so they don’t get burnt out? 21:37
  • Which mindset did Emily utilize while working for a startup? How did she use the advice “Find your niche”? 27:15
  • What is some advice that she’d give someone to get more emotion into their writing? 37:04
  • What are some things to look for when hiring remote help? 39:28
  • 3 Influencers or teachers that have helped Emily get to where she is today. 44:38
  • One gift that she likes giving others. 45:17
  • Something she believed as a 21 year old but doesn’t now and why? 45:46
  • If she could place an ad anywhere in the world cost free, what would it be and where? 46:19
  • Who does Emily think of as a success and why? 48:29
  • What are some ways that someone can improve their customer support? 49:53
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Broke with Billy Corben:

Intro to Deep Work by Cal Newport:

How to Become a Virtual Assistant:

Simon Sinek on the Millennial Question:

Bonus: Simon Sinek followup:

Thank You For Sharing Some Time With Us!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Becoming an Expert

Becoming an Expert: Taking Freelancing to the Next Level

In last week’s post, we discussed the answer to the age old question “What Should I Do with my Life?”

In the answer, I talked about how the best solution is to find out where you fit into the world. Meaning, you need to figure out where it is that you’re adding the most value.

In this week’s post, I’m going to add onto that by suggesting that everyone needs to start looking at themselves as at least a freelancer in our new economy and how you could capitalize on that.

I’m going to say it right now – in the future, jobs won’t be about working for a company. Instead, they’ll be geared towards working with that company.

In my chat with Dr. Joe Albano, we talked about how the employee mindset no longer works in today’s world. His reasoning was those people who can think outside of the box and act on their own are much more desirable than those who have to be told to do – and how to do – everything.

Automation is Happening Whether We Want It Or Not

According to Michio Kaku, there’s another reason why we need to get ourselves out of the traditional employee mentality that we’re all used to:

Automation.

Everywhere you look, you can see that what he’s saying is true. It’s been happening for several decades already in many of our industrial areas.

In fact, the most recent big news about automation happened just this past week when President-elect Trump nominated Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor. If you don’t know Andy, let’s just say that he’s pretty favorable of automation in the fast-food industry.

But this shouldn’t be big news! Remember this scene from Back to the Future 2?

That movie came out in 1989. Talk about delayed!

Needless to say, I think it’s just a matter of time before automation in general changes everything up that we’re used to.

Automation is going to happen. It’s not a matter of if but when.

Adjusting to the New Economy: Freelancing

More automation means we’re going to see a lot more people out there looking to make an income in new ways.

The problem is, there’s only so many traditional jobs that those folks can have. And, as we heard from Michio, even those aren’t safe from automation.

So what do all those folks do that are out of work and looking for a paycheck?

Typically speaking, they become a freelancer.

They give themselves the freedom to work with multiple companies at once or one for a prolonged period of time as a contractor.

Whether or not they’re a consultant, an Uber driver, a Rover dog sitter, or a Airbnb host – freelancing is picking up. In fact, by 2020, 40% of American workers will be considered freelancers.

But Why Stop There?

Remember, Michio mentioned that those who are going to benefit the most from this new world are going to be those who engage in intellectual capitalism.

Again, these are people who use the following to do their job: creativity, imagination, leadership, analysis, telling a joke, writing a script or a book, or doing science.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can be a freelancer and do work you love. But the one thing that many people don’t think about is that freelancers trade hours for dollars.

That’s not really leveraging the power of the internet.

The big companies I already mentioned (Uber, Rover, and Airbnb) do leverage it in a SaaS (Software as a Service) format.

There’s several ways of doing that, but one of the most common and easier methods is to simply bottle up your talent into little informational robots – or as they’re more commonly known –  books, audio programs, courses, and videos.

Having these products out there working for you will allow you build passive income streams so you won’t have to trade hours for dollars.

Don’t think you can call yourself an expert yet? Ha! An expert is only a person who knows more than their audience. You can be 10 steps ahead of them, or just 1. Either way, they can still learn from you. So that means that anyone can become one. It’s just a matter of putting your mind to it once you decide if it’s something you want to really pursue.

Are You Cut Out to Be an Expert?

The next question is this: are you made of the right material to be an expert? Is it something that you should be pursuing as part of your career? Cause you might have the knowledge, but if don’t have the correct mindset, then you’re not going to be too successful at it.

So to see if you have the right mindset, let’s see if this list from Brendon’s Burchard’s book, the Millionaire Messenger, vibes with you:

    1. You’re willing to do work based entirely on your passion and knowledge. You’re going to be the engine behind this train. Do you like helping people by being an educator?
    2. Your work activities center on “relating and creating.” This means that you focus creating products that are useful for your audience.
    3. You work anywhere and anytime, starting now. Armed with a laptop, phone, and a broadband connection to the web, you’re ready to work anytime, anywhere.
    4. You work with whom you want. It’s up to you to make your job as easy, fun, or complex as you want. This means that you can hire and fire any help you have as well as getting rid of annoying customers.
    5. Your promotions are based on your promotions. The great thing about this field is that if you make a product that is in demand, the hard part is going to be getting the word out there. Find out what people want and deliver, deliver, DELIVER!
    6. Your pay equals the value you deliver, not the hours you work. We already covered this one. But make yourself valuable and the products will work for you.
    7. You don’t need or want a big team. Eventually you’ll have to hire your own help to cover your own blind spots or to simply do the work that you shouldn’t be doing. However, as an expert, your team will be small. You’ll need help with media, marketing, and admin – and that’s about it.  This is not something where you need many bodies to do all kinds of work – so don’t get them involved until you need them. Also, starting out as a solopreneur might even prove to be beneficial so you can properly scale your business over time and create systems to help your future crew.
    8. You like using simple and inexpensive tools to achieve success. Each successful expert has basically had to go through the same path to become that expert. In the past, the jobs that needed to be done had to be done by the expert or by hiring out those jobs. In today’s world, many of those jobs can be done by simply, cheap, and often free online tools and software.
    9. You like the idea of making more income on your efforts than you could in any other industry. Instead of letting the robots work against you, you let them work for you. The more people you help, the higher value your work is perceived to have. The higher the value your work has – the more people will want it.

If you’re ok with all of these points, then you should look into becoming an expert at something that you could teach others about.

If you’re not ok with them, then you might want to consider doing something else. Maybe like building a software solution for a particular industry.

Action Steps:

So, you’re now aware that the expert industry exists. I’ve given you 9 criteria to help you determine if it’s something you might want to consider as a career.

If it does, then there’s a few things you can do next.

  1. Get Brendon’s book: The Millionaire Messenger. It goes deeper into what this world is like.
  2. Join us in The Expert Community and start networking with other like minded people.

If you feel like it’s not necessarily something that fits what you want to do, then there’s other options. There’s a total of 10 different online businesses you can pursue. Maybe something like The Foundation is in your future?

How to Inexpensively Start a New Podcast: Exporting and Distribution

In this third and final installment of this beginner’s podcast guide, I’m going to be discussing the final parts in starting your podcast: exporting and distribution. Of course, if you’re new to podcasting and are wondering what the other installments are about, you can find them here (Equipment and Software) and here (Planning and Production).

Also, just a reminder, we’re loosely using Pat Flynn’s 2012 video tutorial as the backbone of this tutorial. However, we’re focusing more on doing it for less than what Pat recommended at the time.

So let’s get started…

Let’s start with Pat’s video in where he shows how to export your podcast in Garageband:

Logic User Differences:

Again, I’m not sure if Pat still has his team use Garageband to produce the SPI podcast or not, but I do know that if you’re an audiophile – you’re probably using something a little more professional.

If you want to go the more professional route right out of the gate, Logic is a good choice. You’ll have to pay for it ($200 at the Apple Store), but you’ll definitely learn a lot more along the way about production – if you want to.

Again, Chase talks about them in his tutorial on Fizzle.co (that’s a link for free trial to Fizzle) because he uses Logic to produce the Fizzle Show.

But to save you some time, here’s the export settings that you’ll want to configure Logic to export or “bounce” your project to:

Logic Bounce Options

My Logic X Bounce Options

Now, when you do this, you’re going to have a rather large file still as you’re publishing to a raw audio format. Most podcasts are in mp3 format.

“Why not go with mp3 here?”, you ask.

Well, you could and I’m sure many people do. But in Chase’s video he explains that your audio is more than likely going to be in stereo if you export directly from here.

There’s nothing wrong with that if you like to have your audience feel like one person is on the left and another person is on the right and so on.

Like Chase, I prefer to have the audio in mono because it shrinks the file size of the final file by half.

Here are the settings that I use in Compressor ($50 via Apple) to shrink my show to small files (because it’s mono) but still reasonably good quality audio:

Compressor Settings

The settings I have for Compressor

You should know that Compressor is typically used for video files (specifically Final Cut Pro files) but you don’t have to have Final Cut for it to work.

Normalizing and The Levelator:

One of the things that Pat mentioned in his tutorial that he used to do is use the Levelator to bring all his voices and sounds to the same volume level.

It’s a great simple solution.

However, if your show is designed to have manual fade-ins and fade-outs, or you purposely alter the volume to censor cusses, or anything that changes the volume, then using the Levelator is not going to be your best choice. It will basically destroy all those fine tunings.

This has been my case.

I use Fade-ins and outs to transition from one part of the show to another. The Levelator destroys those transitions.

So for the longest time I’ve been struggling with making sure that everyone sounds good on multiple speakers. In my office, many of my shows sound great, but when I got them to my car which has a much different setting than my office, my side of the conversation would sound much fainter.

I think I’ve fixed that as of session 59. Per Chase’s advice via the Fizzle forums and Podcast Master Cody Boyce’s help, I’ve started altering the output level of the entire track. Hopefully this will be a welcome chance to those of you who listen in your cars as well as your headphones.

After Exporting but before Distribution

Tagging:

Ok, so getting back on track here. The next thing that Pat talked about was tagging your new mp3 file. (We’re at the 15:13 mark in the first video in the process if you’re wondering where we’re at.)

Only thing I’ll say here is that Macs have it easy because you can do it in iTunes. However, if you don’t want to get iTunes on your PC, you can use Mp3tag to do it. It’s free, but if you use it quite often, you might want to consider a donation. 🙂

Here are the tags that I use for my show (depending on who my cohosts are):

podcast-tags

Tags for the Angles of Lattitude Podcast

Artwork:

You probably noticed that as part of my tags, I have my “generic artwork”. Artwork is huge. You can’t forget it – and unfortunately, many podcasters do.

You want to make sure that you have some sort of generic piece that you’ll be able to post on all of your shows.

dane maxwell unplugged

Feel free to make personal cover art for your guests!

Pat used and continues to use one piece of artwork for his podcast. If he’s changed it since then, it wasn’t much.

That said, I change mine every show based on who I’m talking to. I give each one of my guests their own individual “cover art”. And when you have a template going like I do, it doesn’t take too much longer to add this personal touch.

 

The artwork that is in the tags is usually what the player will play in your listener’s player – unless it uses the generic artwork provided to the place where people are downloading your show from.

I know that you can’t change Stitcher and Google Play’s artwork as they overlay the generic artwork that you’ve chosen to register with them. On the other hand, iTunes, SoundCloud, and any player that actually downloads the file to your listening device, will more than likely use the artwork you provide for that particular file.

So my recommendation is definitely have a generic artwork image that you use per show. But if you have an interview based show, feel free to give your guests a little more appreciation by giving them their own cover image!

Distribution:

Ok, now we want to get our podcast into the world. How do we do that? The best way to do it is to use a remote host to do the work for us. Pat will explain this in detail here:

Through my experience, Libsyn is a great option for all the reasons Pat mentioned.

Another thing to note is Libsyn is set up in a way that you can upload it at one point and then it will become available whenever it is published. Before it is published, you get a link for where it will be linked from.

This means that you can get all your show notes all ready to go before the actual launch of that particular show. Essentially you can set it to go off and then work on getting your marketing ready to go.

This is a great thing.

However, the more bang I can get for my buck, the more I’ll want to use a particular option. For Chase and I, we both use SoundCloud as the host for our show.

And while we can’t actually set it up before hand like Libsyn (SoundCloud only gives their file link after it’s published – and even then you have to look for it in Settings > Content. Then copying and pasting the rss feed URL to another tab and then searching for “URL=” in that page of code to find your files. Ugh.), all the metrics that comes with Libsyn’s middle pricing tier is available through the basic tier of SoundCloud.

So, I’ll say this. If getting your content ready to go ahead of time is priority and you don’t do things at the last minute like Chase and myself, then you’ll want to definitely go with libsyn. If you just want to go the least expensive route – SoundCloud is currently the way to go.

That said, everything else as far as setting up Blubrry hasn’t changed – so I’ll leave Pat’s last video here:

Action Steps:

Alright, guys. There you have it. That’s the basics of how I do my podcasts. Again, mad kudos to Pat and Chase for their help in teaching me this process.

Now it’s time to start your own show.

I hope this gives you a little more insight into the behind the scenes of doing a show so you can start yours or make your current process a bit more efficient and/or easier on the wallet.

If you have any questions regarding this process, feel free to contact me using the contact page. I’d be glad to help you out in any way I can!

podcast planning

How to Inexpensively Start a New Podcast: Planning and Production

In this second installment of this three part series of starting a podcast, I’ll be looking at the actual process of recording the show. Now that you hopefully have all your gear, you’ll need to learn how to put it all together and use it. Let’s get started.

There’s plenty of tips and tricks that I could give you in this post. There’s so many things that go into making a podcast that I could make a course on it myself… beyond what Pat has!

 If you’ve forgotten his tips or haven’t seen them, here’s that video:

Here are 6 more tips that will help you make an impression with your podcast:

Planning

So let’s start before where Pat started in his tutorial – which is the planning stage. This particular stage shouldn’t be taken lightly. So I’m going to cover it more detail.

The one thing he did cover was how long the podcast should be. And, I couldn’t agree with him more.

1. Who’s your Audience?

The first thing you’re going to have to consider just like all any other independent creator, is to figure out what your audience wants. What makes them, well… them? The best way to do this is to make a list of 20 some people who you think might be interested in your potential show. Find out from them what they’d want to hear discussed.

Not sure who those 20 people are? Ask yourself what kind of people do you want to help or entertain? What kinds of things do they geek out about? Do they appreciate their time? Do they like to kill time? How can you add value in that space?

listening-to-podcast

Who’s Your Audience?

2. Length of Your Show

Once you’ve determined who your audience is going to be, you can start thinking about the length of your show.

Let’s start our first by thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish with your show. Here are three potential examples of popular shows.

  1. Action based. Meaning, are you going to be giving plenty of tips? Are you going to be interviewing people like Pat does to help others do something?
  2. More general conversation – a Hybrid. Where you’re actually just sitting down with the person to get to know them and have them share their expertise a little bit. That’s what we do on the AoL Podcast. Try and get a little bit of both.
  3. Deep conversation about anything and everything – Maybe you’re just going to have a podcast where you’re just talking about everything and anything that’s going on in general in your specific topic or with your specific guest? Not focused so much on actionable discussion, but high content. More like a radio show.

Generally speaking, as you progress from specific action based discussions to a more  conversational show, the longer your podcast is going to be. It just takes time to get into a good discussion that will captivate your audience.

That’s one reason why Tim Ferriss’ shows are so captivating. His longest shows at times are often his best ones. Some of those have been known to go 2 or 3 hours! He’s even said a couple of times that’s why he does have such long conversations – to dive extremely deep.

That said, he doesn’t release a new show every day, either.

So, here’s a thought. If your plan is to give tips, tactics, and actionable items on your own or with one other person. The more you can do it, the better. Think of Entrepreneur on Fire or Ask Pat.

If you’re going to be more in depth with a person, maybe a 45 minute to an hour chat, make it, at most, twice a week. Art of Charm is a good example there. Maybe throw in a Q&A call.

And if you’re going to go in-depth, make it once a week.

 

3. Interviewing Style

If your show is going to have guests on it, you’ll need to figure out what your interviewing style is.

What do I mean by this?

Here are three types of interviewing:

  1. Highly Structured – Ask basically the same questions with every guest you have
  2. Loose Structure – Use a framework to form questions based on the guest.
  3. Low or No Structure – Engage in regular inquisitive conversation.

Regardless of the type you use, make sure you communicate to your guest what’s important. Let them know what kind of structure you use. Also, it might be a good idea to keep in contact with them before the interview actually happens so they know it’s a for sure event.

Larry King - Legend of Low Structure Interviewing

Larry King – Legend of Low Structure Interviewing

High Structure:

Obviously, asking the same questions is going to be more scripted sounding. Whereas inquisitive conversation is going to be based on what the guest is saying at the time.

The pros of having a scripted show is that you and your audience will always know the questions and points that are going to be discussed.

The cons of this type will be that you might run the risk of being too scripted and come across as a robot. Or, even if you don’t sound scripted, it might still get repetitive. If patterns of answers start forming with your guests, you might lose parts of your audience because they already know the answer.

Loose Structure:

The middle ground interview type. Instead of having the same questions each conversation, this structure works more on a framework. In Pat’s tutorial, he mentioned that his favorite podcast at the time had different parts to the show. That show sounded like it uses a framework. In the AoL Podcast, we also use a framework for our conversations too. The overall structure is the same, but the questions change from show to show.

The good thing about using this type of structure is that it saves some time with your interviews and it won’t get super repetitive.

The bad thing is that it might sound like you’re trying to cram a ton of stuff into a single show without really going deep into much of it.

Low or No Structure:

True masters of interviewing typically use the Low or No Structure approach to their interviews. Every show is different because every conversation is different.

Essentially you let the guest lead the conversation and paint the picture.

The good thing about this type of interview is that it’s very relatable. Listeners will feel more like they’re part of the conversation as it naturally progresses.

The problem with this type of format is that it’s only done well in long format. To even scratch the surface of the guest, it might take the interviewer an hour. And even then, they might not get everything answered that they’d like to. Interviewing novices probably shouldn’t attempt this format as you they might not ever get the guest to truly open up – especially if they ask the wrong questions.

As a bonus, if you’re good at the low or no structure approach, guests will appreciate your company more because you’re not coming with agenda. That’s why Cal Fussman and Larry King have been able to make so many friends over the years of their career. They’re genuinely interested in the interviewee.

4. Finding Topics to Discuss

I used to produce a couple of shows that have since discontinued. One of was full topic based while the other was a hybrid show consisting of topics and interviews.

One thing that you should consider when discussing topics is, again, how pertinent they are to your audience. Three great ways to find topics is by discussing popular posts on blogs, threads in forums, or questions that are asked by your audience.

Remember that a lot of the media these days get their “news” from reddit.com

Production

When it comes to production, there’s going to be a ton of differences between how people get things done. Whether you have a PC or a Mac, use Garageband or Audition, or even how you record everyone. Personally, I have everyone record their side so there’s no hiccups from the Skype connection (I think Chase calls this dovetailing).

But there are a few things everyone can do when it comes to doing things inexpensively.

Dovetail Recording: Everyone on the show has their own Audio Track

Dovetail Recording: Everyone on the show has their own Audio Track

1. Intro and Outro

The intro to your show is part of it’s personality. It’s how people will recognize that they’re listening to the right show when they’re busy doing something else – be it driving, working, or exercising.

A lot of people will say that you need a short intro. To keep it to a minimum because people have short attention spans.

While that might be true in some instances, I really think it depends on your audience whether or not that advice is relevant.

If you’re audience includes people who are looking for a quick show, then yes. You’re going to want to have a quick intro. Or perhaps your topic is headline or news material, than yeah. A short intro is better.

However, if it’s a deep dive and you’re planning on having shows that approach an hour or more, then it’s not really going to matter that you have a minute to a couple of minutes long intro session. It really helps if you give an idea about what the show is going to be about so your audience can determine if they want to spend their time listening to it.

Same thing for the outro. If you have a long chat, make room for a proper outro. The worst thing you could do with an epic chat is just do a sudden drop. Have a wrap up and a call to action.

Also, as a little side note. If you’re going to use music with your intro or outro, you can take Pat’s advice to go buy stock music. Or, you can search for Free Stock Music and use that instead. There’s tons of samples out there on Soundcloud, YouTube, even Microsoft had some at one point. Just make sure you give credit if the artist asks for it.

2. Have a Backup Recording

You can never have too many recordings of a conversation. I mentioned that I use dovetailing to get everyone into the conversation without any skips. However, you can’t count on your guests or co-hosts to have their copy of the conversation.

That’s why you want to have something that actually records Skype.

If you have multiple people on the line, it’s good to have a control document. That way the flow of the conversation goes in the right direction at all times. There’s nothing worse than going over the same information twice on an hour long show and/or wasting your guest’s time because someone lost track of what was being discussed.

Also, play with the settings of your hardware and software so you get the best quality – and have your co-hosts and guests do this too. If it’s completely alien to you or them, find a tutorial in how to use your equipment when it’s brand new.

Action Steps

This time around, I want you to start thinking about your audience. The people that you want to help, influence, or entertain.

What kind of stuff do they want to listen to? Do you know for sure? Are there already other shows out there that’s like what you’re thinking about creating?

If you’re not sure, ask a few of them.

Once you get a good idea on what they’d like to hear about, determine how you want to deliver it based on what we talked about above.

And then, start familiarizing yourself with that hardware and software you should already have. It really helps to look up YouTube videos on this stuff.

Learn to Sweeten Your Podcasts with Chase!

Learn to Sweeten Your Podcasts with Chase!

Chase on Monitoring (Headsets)

Chase editing the Fizzle Show (with Logic Pro X)

Or, better yet, you can get 5 weeks (as of this writing) of free Fizzle and take a course where Chase illustrates some tricks of how he does the Fizzle Show. If you’re thinking about using Logic Pro X, I highly recommend it. I learn something new each time I watch it!

 

To be Continued…

Ok, so that’s it for part 2 of this 3 part series.

Next week, in part 3, we’ll be bringing it all home. Learning how to export your podcast and then figuring out where your going to post it so others can start hearing your great message!

Use These Tips to Make Your Next Logo Design

When I relaunched New Inceptions in 2015, one of the things that I knew I had to do was make a new logo. Not only was the one I had outdated, but I didn’t really know where the original Photoshop file went.

ni-logo-progression

Between the first iteration of the logo and the current version, I’ve learned a thing or two about logo design.

What works, what doesn’t work, and why some logos don’t seem to go out of style.

That said, I thought since I’m asked this question quite a bit (right there with “What should I call my new business?”) I thought I’d give you guys a detailed framework of how to make a logo for yourself whenever you start a new brand or a new business.

You’ll be learning:

  • Part 1: Getting Ideas for Your Logo
  • Part 2: Making Your Logo
  • Part 3: Mistakes you want to be sure you avoid

Part 1: Getting Ideas for Your Logo

When it comes to logos, you can either pay someone else to do them, rr, in true New Inceptions fashion, do it yourself quickly and inexpensively.

Either way you go, it’s best to give you or your artist some inspiration to work from. Something you can say, “I like this but I don’t like this”.

Your goal in this section is to simply give you or your artist pieces of previous work to work from – but not necessarily define what your logo is going to look like.

triple-self-portrait-19601

Among many other instances, artists are known to use this technique when they’re making portraits (just as Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self Portrait shows here). It’s called having a reference.

These logos that you’re going to be picking are those reference pics.

Here’s how you find reference pics (images):

  1. Go to Google Image Search
  2. Type in “reference image logos” (or the name of a favorite brand, or central point of your design + “logo”)
  3. Click an image you might want to use as a reference.
  4. When that image is highlighted, you’ll see an option to “View more”. Click that if you want to see more like the one you clicked.
  5. Save as many examples as you like. I try to aim for 15 or 20 logos when I’m doing this initial combing of images. If you luck out, you might find something like one of these:

multiple-logos

Here’s the link for this search.

Limiting Your Choices to Your Top 3 to 5 Choices

So, here’s the deal. You should currently have 15 or 20 images that you like. Something that you’ve just given a thumbs up to.

But we want to go deeper than that. We want to now start looking at logos that maybe you like some part of. Or how something is laid out. Or perhaps you like the font. Here are 5 criteria that you want to use in choosing which logos you want to (or your artist) to work from.

 

Simple and Flexible

You can go from being simple to complex, very quickly. Look at my 2nd rendition of my logo. It’s a logo, but it’s very complex. I was doing ok with the font, but it wasn’t clean. It was a hodge podge of ideas.

So, what I ended up being suggested to me on Fizzle was that I needed to clean it up. Start using my brand colors and just tighten all my concepts down. Oh, and don’t forget that the font needed to be simpler as well.

End result? Something someone doesn’t have to sit there and analyze – but yet included the compass, dreamcatcher, and a catchy slogan.

 

Appeal to Different Audiences

Here’s something else to consider. You don’t want to have a rigid design. Again, if you look at my 2nd version, there wasn’t going to be many ways I could use that design. While I might be able to float it on a blog, using it through social media in the profile squares might have been a bit of a pain. Again, simplifying the design allows me to use the letters “NI” for social media.

 

Design needs to be Versatile

To put this simply, you want to have the ability to use your logo in different situations. Does it look good online? Sure.

But how does it look on say a coffee mug, shirt, or a poster?

How does it look with different kinds of color? Grayscale?

At this point this is mainly opinion. So when you’re attempting to find your reference shots, keep these all in mind.

 

Be Unique!

Now, if the reference logos you’ve been thinking about using are too unique or cliche, this is where you drop them off.

How do you know if they’re too unique to use in your design?

Glad you asked!

Everyone knows the Coca-Cola logo – so don’t use it or anything that looks like it. Don’t use some design of an apple unless it’s with something else. No backward swooshes. Get the idea?

In other words,

  • Don’t Use Cliche Designs
  • Don’t Use Recognizable Fonts
  • Don’t Use Recognizable trademarks

how-to-not-have-a-unique-logo

Part 2: Making Your Logo

Now, you should have limited your selection of logos down to 3 to 5 different logos.

Just for an example, here are 5 that I limited my selection down to:

ideas-for-new-inceptions-logo

Next step: actually making your logo.

You want to get your hands on some sort of Graphic Manipulation software.

I use an antiquated version of Photoshop to do all of my work (CS5). It actually crashes from time to time. BUT you don’t need Photoshop to create an image from scratch.

In fact, there’s a free alternative called GIMP. GIMP has been around for a long time, but I’ve never actually used it! As a student back at Purdue, I was able to land a copy of Photoshop pretty inexpensively. Thank you student software rates!

Why did I opt for Photoshop instead of a free copy of GIMP? Mainly because GIMP wasn’t super user friendly. However, tt seems they’ve come a long distance since then.

If you want to check out using GIMP, here’s a tutorial I found for you.

Things to Consider When Making YOUR Design:

Make sure you logo has a story to tell. Meaning that it shows how and why you’re different.

Here’s how you do that and what I was thinking when I made my logo:

 

What is your business about?

New Inceptions is about helping people chase their dreams and make a living from that. Hence the dreamcatcher and the compass.

 

What kind of personalities are you trying to attract?

I want to attract people who feel like they’re trapped.  That they’re not using their fullest potential. So I’m appealing to all 4 personality types.

    • Use bright colors for the expressives.
    • Use boldness for the drivers.
    • Use the right slogan for the analyticals and the amiables.

 

Show that you incorporate thinking and meticulous ideology in your work.

When I redesigned my new logo, I made sure I considered proper proportion and symmetry. While some people might be super creative and use white space as part of their design, I instead opted to use what’s called a double entendre. It’s basically where you use two pictures in one. I combine the compass and the dreamcatcher whenever possible.

If your business involves activity, then you might want to consider showing that in your design.

Laila’s logo shows a woman’s silhouette doing a yoga pose and the tails of the letters seem to be growing as well. (Notice that these tails also give her a font that is highly customized.)

fitness-astronaut

And finally, remember that this is not about perfection. You don’t have to get it right the first time.

In fact, a ton of our favorite brands have done their own logo changes throughout the years:

changing-of-popular-brand-logos

So don’t expect to be perfect with your first, second, or third design!

Part 3: Common Mistakes that Designers Make

Finally, here are a few pitfalls that you or your artist want to make sure you avoid as your developing your logo.

  • Don’t Over Innovate – The coolest logo isn’t specifically the most complex. Keep it simple!
  • Don’t Underestimate Custom Fonts/Typography – If you have the talent or know someone that can do design work with letters, let them go for it. I can imagine that my next logo will feature more of this.
  • Don’t be predictable – Again, don’t use common elements in your design. If you do, perhaps do it in a way that’s unique! Here’s a cluster of circles that make the Twitter logo:twitter-logo-circles
  • Don’t use special effects in your designs – Don’t forget that we want our design to be flexible just like those that we used as reference. Special effects don’t lend themselves to coffee mugs and shirts too well!
  • Don’t constantly change your logo – You might have noticed that Facebook routinely changes their design and layout of Facebook. However, they never touch their logo. Don’t make it a habit to change your logo or colors regularly.

Wrap Up

So that’s how you make a logo – or at least how I’ve made mine and helped others do the same.

There’s a lot there. So here’s the short version:

  1. Find some non generic designs that you can get ideas from. Start with 10, 15, or 20 logos and bring it down to 3 to 5.
  2. Get some Graphic Manipulation Software – Can’t beat Photoshop, but GIMP is free.
  3. Create your logo using parts or ideas from other designs. But don’t copy directly. Use them as inspiration.
  4. Make sure your design tells the story of your business.

Think you’re ready to craft your new logo for your business but still have questions?

Leave your question in the comment section below. I’ll be personally reading and responding to all questions.