In the spring of 2017, Barry, Josh and I were on Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s podcast, Invest Like the Best.
After we finished recording, Patrick asked me, “why don’t you and Ben have a podcast?” He knew how often Ben and I speak on the phone, so he said, “why not just press record and see what happens?”
Thank you, Patrick.
Our first order of business was figuring out what we were gonna call this thing. The right name is important, at least in the beginning while you’re trying to build an audience. Here are some ideas we kicked around:
- Against the Pods
- Sum of the Pods
- Ever Green (weak)
- Plain English (turrible)
- Man Rapids (embarrassing)
I showed this list to Josh and fives rejections and ten minutes later he goes “I got it. This is so perfect. Animal Spirits.”
We bought a few cheap microphones and tried a piece of free software and ohmygod was it a disaster. So we went looking for help and Patrick introduced us to his producer, Mathew Passy. For a nominal fee he spoke to us to get a better understanding of what we were trying to do:
- Who is the intended audience?
- How long are the episodes?
- How often do you plan to record?
- What equipment do you have?
The first few attempts were hilariously bad. We recorded four or five episodes that never saw the light of day. The two of us were very tight and the shows were too scripted. It’s like we were trying to jam a blog post into a podcast. It just didn’t work.
I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to talk into a microphone. I mean, Ben and I talk all day, how hard could this really be? The idea that talking is hard might sound silly, but speaking on the phone and speaking coherently when the red light goes on are two entirely different things. It was probably a good six months to a year before I was completely comfortable in my own voice.
Today Ben and I share a google doc and just throw stuff in there and press record. There are no bullet points and no notes. The more organic the conversation, the better. There are times where I’ll listen to the show and completely disagree with what I said 48 hours earlier, which is fine. Knee-jerk reactions are probably more entertaining for the listener, even if I’m often embarrassed by them. I can always clarify what I meant in the following episode if need be.
We didn’t have any expectations in terms of growing an audience, but we did gain some lessons from writing over the years. What I think aspiring content creators might get wrong is this idea that they’re going to build a business on the back of their following. This is never going to happen for 99% of us. What content can do however is leverage your ability to communicate with people that are already doing business with you. If you only have 100 people listening to your podcast but 40 of them are current clients, then how valuable is that? Being able to reach that many people in one shot is enormous. And 100 listeners might not sound like a lot, but now imagine speaking to a room of 100 people. Not so bad.
Ben and I are very grateful that people are listening to our podcast, and we’re excited about the live show we’ll be doing at the first annual Wealth/Stack conference in Scottsdale this September. Ben and I record every week on Monday, so we will also be doing our weekly show in Arizona, in a booth with our producer Mathew Passy.
We want you to get involved.
Wealth/Stack will have a podcast booth where attendees will be able to schedule a half hour time slot to record your own podcast. All you need to bring is an SD card, Mathew will take care of the rest. He will also be on site to chat about how he can help you get a podcast off the ground. Click here to reserve a slot!
You might be thinking, like I was when I started, that the world doesn’t need another podcast. Don’t worry about what the world needs. If you’ve been kicking around the idea, then get your ticket now and come talk to Mathew.
An email came in today asking for our favorite podcasts, so here are mine below.
Invest Like the Best
Masters in Business
Behind the Markets
The Meb Faber Show
Flirting With Models
Financial Advisor Success
The Compound Show
The Curious Investor
The Long View
The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Lowe Post
The Woj Pod
The JJ Redick Podcast
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Against the Rules
North Star Podcast
How I Built This
How to start a podcast
Podcast Launch! (Also, Notes On How We Started Ours)