Achieving your most audacious goals doesn’t happen by accident. Explore the Authority Journey and what it takes to influence, lead, and succeed.
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In our latest episode, David Perez, founder of Talking Silkworm and host of the Audience Coach podcasts, shares his advice to new podcasters after helping clients launch over 60 podcasts and producing over 1000 episodes.
Here’s the transcript of the interview:
Welcome to the Authority Journey podcast. Achieving your most audacious goals doesn’t happen by accident. Explore the authority journey and what it takes to influence, lead and succeed.
My name is Kathryn Aragon, and I am honored to have David Perez with us today. David is a podcasting expert, podcast producer and coach. He’s the host of the Audience Coach podcast and founder of Talking Silkworm which is a podcast production agency that focuses on helping health and wellness coaches set up and launch their podcast.
Thank you for joining us, David.
Thank you very much for having me. OK, well, about myself. I’m a podcast producer and editor, and my job is mainly helping coaches — life coaches, health and wellness coaches — start and run their podcasts so they can increase their online presence and, of course, grow an audience, which is the ultimate goal of creating podcasts.
My background is not in podcasting. It actually is an education. I used to be a teacher. I was a teacher for eight years. Part of that time I was an online teacher. So, what I did is, as part of my teaching process as an online tutor, I started to create podcasts for my students, and eventually I started to create podcasts for businesses. So, that’s why I ended up as a podcast producer.
Well, that is really interesting. So, how many podcasts have you actually put together?
Ok, In terms of the number of shows, I think I’ve lost count. Over 60 or 70, I guess because they come and go. It depends also on the creator because sometimes they prefer to stop the project after some time.
But I think in podcast episodes, I think it’s over a thousand.
Wow. Yeah, that is amazing. So, it’s interesting that you started out in education, and you morphed into business. Did you ever dream you would be doing what you’re doing now?
I absolutely didn’t. I never dreamed I would be having such a strong, well an apparently strong change.
But actually, there are a lot of things I learned in education that I now apply in my business. For example, part of it is the concept of authority authoring, like being on author, creating content, creating audiences. That was something I used to study in my English subjects.
And also, the part of teaching people stuff is pretty much what you do when you create content. You are teaching somebody to do something so they can move forward. Or so they can feel inspired to take action.
Very good, You know, I love podcasts because it’s another iteration of content marketing. Another channel where you can share your message and reach your audience. But why do you see them as a good medium for any business?
Having a podcast can be a good medium depending on what your purpose is. That’s going to be the first thing. So, it will depend on what kind of business you’re in and what your content strategy objectives are.
A podcast is a great medium for creating deep connections with an audience. If you’re going to go with video, I mean, usually video has like a very short attention span — around like three to five minutes.
But with podcasting, you can have a person hooked up to the content for somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes or even longer than that. I’ve seen podcast episodes go around three hours in length, and people will listen to the whole piece.
So the strength of podcasting is the strong engagement you will be able to generate in your audience.
So, do you see a podcast actually impacting a business’s relationship with their audience?
Yes, actually. I have had interviews where I’ve spoken with some of the clients I work with who have large audiences on different platforms. One of them has like around 400,000 followers on Instagram, for example.
And when I chatted with her, she told me that the platform that has created the best, the biggest, connection with her audience hasn’t been Instagram. It has been her podcast because these are about very personal conversations that create very deep connections in people who listen to them.
So, yes. She has gotten all this feedback from her audience telling her things like,
“thank you so much.”
“Your podcast episode has helped me a lot.”
“The latest episode helped me out with this issue or this I had, and now I’m moving forward in order to fix that problem.”
I like what you’re saying about it. It helps you build a connection, I believe, with your audience.
So how do you teach people how to do that?
It’s something about the personality. It’s very complicated to teach someone to do it. It’s more of allowing yourself to be yourself in front of a microphone because there are so many factors that get in the way.
As we might know, impostor syndrome is a very common factor. The fear of public speaking is also a factor.
Although we are not in front of a crowd or in front of a public auditorium, we know that what we are recording right now is going to be out there and people are going to listen.
So there’s fear of judgment even though it’s usually not there. Also we just help them lose the fear of making mistakes because actually making mistakes is a necessary part of the process.
You need to sound bad at the beginning. You need to… Yeah, I don’t know… sound crappy, or record an episode that doesn’t have a clear focus.
But from that, eventually you’re going to end up improving your skill, narrowing the focus of your topics, improving the structure of the show and creating a better piece of content over time.
But that’s the main thing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
When you’re working with someone, how long does it take them to begin to get comfortable with the process, to where they understand, yes I’m going to make mistakes and that’s OK?
That’s very related to personality, but usually it’s within the first month.
Really that quickly?
Yes. Not because in the first month we’re going to be releasing new episodes. But I ask them to do a huge batch of recordings before we actually launch the show.
So, in the first month, a new broadcaster should have at least eight to ten recordings. That should be a mix of interviews and solo episodes. And that should give them the practice and confidence to move forward from then on.
During that month, are there some of those recordings that get thrown out?
Yes, absolutely. Sometimes we give them feedback. It’s very important to give them feedback. We tell them, “OK, this is how you can improve.”
One common mistake, I think the most common mistake, is topics that don’t have a clear focus or content that doesn’t have a clear focus or is all over the place.
They don’t speak about anything specific. So, if you want to figure out what is central, or what the main idea of the episode was, there is no way to do it because it’s just jumping around. That’s a very common thing.
And you can always re-record. You can always re-record and redo things. There does come a moment where you don’t have to do retakes, re-recordings. It just flows naturally, and you don’t have to make the process heavy on your shoulders.
It becomes super light after you have the skills and the practice.
I like that. Do you recommend people write out a script or to just have talking points and riff — be themselves?
OK, from my experience, we started out with scripts. Now scripts might be useful if it’s going to be a short episode.
For longer episodes, and by longer I mean not 20 minutes or longer… or even for shorter ones, I always do bullet points because we want to have a very simplified process for recording and publishing these episodes.
If you need to write down and polish a script, it’s going to take you a lot of time. And I don’t know, like in my case, I kind of obsess when I’m writing. I am a perfectionist with my writing. So, that takes me a lot of time. And then I need to transfer that into a spoken word, and then that needs to be processed.
So the lighter the process can be, the better. Eventually I just discarded scripts, and I just create bullet points with the main ideas and go with it.
That has worked really well for me as well. I’m going to go back to five years ago when I would do video recordings, I would write out the script. I think I was afraid I would forget the right word or that I wouldn’t sound intelligent.
Yet now, it’s almost like I feel like there’s less energy if I’ve written a script. All the energy went into the script, it doesn’t go into the recording. Whereas. if I just give myself bullet points, I feel like I’m more myself, and there’s more energy in my voice. Have you observed that?
Absolutely. One of the processes we have had lately in our podcast show, the Audience Coach, is we integrated a co-host.
Bullet points allow us to be a lot more flexible in the conversation.
So it sounds like a conversation, not like I’m writing a script. Sometimes we go a bit off topic. We can make comments like, “it’s very hot out there.” Or I can ask my co-host who is attending university, “how is the university going?”
We can make it more personal, show a little bit about our personalities ourselves, or about our life stories and still cover the topic. That gives us a lot of room to express our personalities and still cover the topic.
So now let’s back up and go more to podcasting as a medium a business can integrate into their content strategy.
Everybody is doing a podcast. Is there really room for another one? And if so, how do you stand out?
This is a common question, and it depends. If everybody is creating a podcast, how long are people working their podcast?
Some people quit after a couple of months. They’re up there three or four months because they don’t get results. Podcasting just like any other type of content strategy you use, whether it’s blogging or video, takes a long time to yield results.
It’s usually the one who stands the longest who gets to see the results. So usually after a long, long, long period of time, you will see competition dwindle. Now there are fewer competitors, and you’ll get to see the fruits of what you’ve worked on.
Now, when you say long, long time, are we talking months? Years? What are we looking at?
Yes, usually. And I base this on Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi. In order for you to start seeing results, you need somewhere between nine to 12 months of constant work.
So that clashes a little bit with our social media world mindset where everything has to be instant. It has to happen immediately.
So, I am posting a new podcast episode, and I’m going to see results tomorrow. And I’m going to be selling my programs and courses after a few weeks. And, no. That’s not how it works. It takes a long time.
And during that time. You not only need to be consistent with the content you’re publishing, but you also need to be adjusting, constantly adjusting your strategy, and listening.
And this is very important because podcasting, as well as any other type of content strategy you have, is mostly a listening exercise. You need to listen to your audience to get constant feedback so you can understand better what they need — what they want and what they want to achieve.
Now, tell me more about that. Where do you find this feedback?
Let’s say it’s a new podcast, and you’re not getting a lot of engagement. Where do you find that feedback?
OK. Actually, that’s pretty easy. There are several strategies we use. One of them is just taking note of all the common questions, misconceptions and friction points when we are onboarding new clients or potential clients.
So we take note of all that. That’s one way we do it.
And the other way we do it is we go on social media or YouTube. We find creators that are producing content around similar topics, and we observe all the comments. It’s what we call listening posts. I don’t know if that has another name. We just call them listening posts.
So, we go there, and we check all the comments and questions people have. It’s usually hundreds of thousands, and the creator doesn’t have the capacity to pay attention to all that and to reply to all of the comments.
But there you’re going to find a lot of questions, a lot of struggles and a lot of things people are sharing there from very personal experience.
We get all that information from there. We pass that on to a spreadsheet, and we find… usually we find, a lot of patterns. Even if we have gone across different pieces of content in the comments, there are patterns, and we start creating new content ideas from that information.
So, it doesn’t have to be like direct feedback from people to you, but feedback from people to other people or to other content creators in your industry.
OK, that’s valid. Now, let’s talk about time, because isn’t that what holds us all back?
If you’re already doing social media and a blog, where do you find time to do the podcast? How do you fit that into the schedule?
This is a common issue with business owners. We want to do it all ourselves because we are afraid. If I don’t do it myself, no one is going to be able to give the results I give.
It’s a matter of letting go and creating. I think in one of your podcast episodes, Kathryn you also cover the need for systems.
Systems are essential. You need to create systems around your podcast so you can eventually delegate. You need to delegate and transfer that responsibility onto somebody else in your team.
Or you can also hire a third-party contractor to help you with the podcast. But you need to create a system around it.
That’s one way to have more time.
The other is to create time blocks for recording. That’s what I do with my co-host. We can sit down, and in one Saturday morning a month, or two months’ worth of content.
Yeah, it doesn’t have to be heavy on your schedule. You just block a time. If you’re going to be doing interviews, just separate a single morning in a month. You can do three, four or five interviews in that single morning.
That’s going to be probably six weeks’ worth of content or five weeks’ worth of content.
Very good. Yes.
And the other thing is this. I try to keep it simple because some people want to do the podcast, but they also want to do a multi-camera video podcast while they’re doing the other thing. And they also want to generate infographics. They want to do so many things at the same time.
It’s important to just focus on one thing at a time. Master that one thing. Once you’ve mastered it, and once you’ve created a system around it, then you can add the camera or add a second camera or go to a studio or do whatever else you want to do.
But it’s important to keep it as simple as you can.
I love that. That’s actually always been my approach to any new thing. Just add that one thing, keep it as simple as possible. Figure out the system around it and then little by little it integrates, and it becomes part of the big picture that way.
But I love your point about not trying to do too much at once, especially with a medium feels overwhelming when you’re first starting out.
Like you were talking about earlier. You’ve got that microphone. You’ve got the camera. You’ve got all this stuff. You’ve got lights in your face, and it just feels so foreign.
What do you tell people when they feel overwhelmed? Maybe they’re having a little meltdown, and they’re ready to quit. What do you tell people?
Usually, once they have gone through the whole painful experience, I tell them, “Don’t do that because you are going to eventually burn out.”
Just recording with a single microphone can generate technical difficulties. Now, imagine having multiple microphones with multiple cameras is going to be very, very exhausting.
So I just tell them, keep it as simple as you can, because we don’t want to focus on generating a lot of content in a lot of different formats.
We want to focus on one content type and create the largest impact we can create with that content type. Not be just spread all around. But be laser focused and create an impact in an area where we want to create an impact.
People tend to see content on social media, and usually what they see is the most popular creators. But they have a huge team that works with them.
If you don’t have a huge budget, like a six-figure budget a year for that in a huge team, stay laser focused. Just focus on one content type for the moment.
Excellent advice. Now let’s talk about you.
This is the Authority Journey Podcast so I want to know a little bit more about your authority journey —where you started to where you are now.
You told us already that you started as a teacher and that you really never expected to get where you are right now. If you could go back and change anything, what would you do differently?
I have asked myself that question several times, and I say, I would change nothing.
That’s great to hear.
Teaching has given me a lot of tools and a lot of knowledge that I am now applying into business. For example, I like content marketing, and I focus a lot on content marketing.
It’s amazing to see how much of the information you have in content marketing could be in the course syllabus of an English class.
They are going to be talking about the same things: Author authority, audience, the message, how you want to convey the message, how you structure an idea, how you get the engagement from your audience.
There are so many things that are similar.
And also in practice — the way you talk to people and the way you understand.
For example, as a teacher, I understood that it’s not just about delivering a message, or not just giving them information, or not just helping my students develop a skill, but also creating that connection, that trust. You can’t be fake.
It might look like, you know a lot, and you can look like an authority to them, but if they don’t trust you, if they don’t connect with you, it’s very hard for you to keep students engaged for a whole semester.
That makes perfect sense.
A lot of these skills — and this is something I also learned as a teacher — are transferable. Skills are transferable.
For example, if you are good at writing in Spanish, you are going to also be good at writing in English. Structuring a text is going to be easy no matter the language you’re using. That expands to every other single skill you have out there.
So what goals are you working on now?
In my business, you ask, right? OK.
We are trying to expand from podcast production, which is what we do right now, to creating courses around podcast recording and podcast study.
Throughout our journey, we’ve noticed that there are still so many areas that we need to cover. Sometimes we don’t have the capacity or the time to cover them. So, we are creating courses to help our clients and other people who need that to fill those gaps.
If somebody is interested in learning more about that, where should they go?
They should go to www.audiencecoach.com/contact, and they can send me a line, or a short message, and tell me about what they need.
The courses are not live yet. We are working on them and will hopefully have them ready in a couple of months. We are in the recording and editing stage now.
Soon they’ll be live and yeah, they’ll be out there.
Well, you evidently know what you’re doing, so I’m sure those will be really valuable. I encourage all our listeners to go and visit. Give us that link one more time.
Wonderful. Thank you so much for being with us today, David.Iit’s been a pleasure chatting.
It’s been my pleasure as well. Kathryn. Thank you very much.