Rekindling a Passion: Tips & Tools for Creating Engaging Podcasts

On December 15, 2023, I attended Spark Street Digital’s holiday party in DC last year, gathering with colleagues to celebrate the season and connect. Among the familiar faces, I ran into Don Napoleon, my former intern supervisor back in 2015 when I was pursing my Masters in film and Video Studies at George Mason University. Don, running his own video production company, was one of the first to take a chance on me, hiring me as a freelancer. Landing that gig was a turning point, because let’s be honest, finding your work as a newbie entrepreneur can be tough.

Our conversation that night inspired me to reignite my podcasting journey. Don asked if I was still creating podcasting content, similar to the Talks with Tay interviews that he helped filmed for me back in 2019. Admittedly, I felt bad for putting my podcast on pause for so long. 

I told him that I was struggled with trying to find the right name for my podcast. I told him that I let my busy work schedule get in the way as well. I appreciated how Don responded. He said it was okay. Then he went on to explain how powerful and inspiring the stories in my podcasts interviews were. Don’s reassurance was really helpful for my return—he reminded me to focus on storytelling rather than getting caught up on titles or even the visuals. And so, here I am, diving back into the podcasting world. 

Before I go into the technical aspects of my setup and strategies, I want to share the realistic goals I’ve set for myself with my podcast:

  • Conduct at least one interview per month.
  • Release one podcast episode per month.
  • Create at least two promotional videos per episode.
  • Write one blog post per episode.
  • Utilize platforms like Spotify Podcast, my website, Patreon, and social media to reach my audience.

Now, let’s go into an exclusive peek behind the scenes of “The Breakdown with Taylor Brown.” I’m going to share with you my camera equipment, audio set-up, podcast production process, posting strategies, and podcasting tips.

Gear Up: The Essential Tools

In the realm of podcasting, efficiency and quality are really important. My audio setup is the Zoom PodTrak P4 Portable Multitrack Podcast Recorder, complemented by Zoom M-1 Mics and a suite of accessories for an unparalleled recording experience. 

For visual storytelling, I’ve curated a cost-effective two camera set-up. The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 captures the wide shot, while the Sony Alpha ZV-E10 and Sony a6400 captures the tight shot on the person I am interviewing, all enhanced by the Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS lens. These cameras and lenses all fall under the $1,000 mark, and honestly, your storytelling skills and interview flow matter way more than megapixels. Remember, your audience connects with the people and the stories, not the fancy equipment.

My editing workflow:

My editing process starts with syncing footage from two cameras in Adobe Premiere Pro using the multi-cam feature. This feature allows me to switch seamlessly between wide and close shots, capturing every expression. But here’s a productivity hack by: let Premiere Pro do the heavy lifting with its built-in transcribe tool. It automatically generates a text file of the entire interview. I use the transcribe tool in premiere to me create episode descriptions and social media captions, with a little help from ChatGPT. 

Streamlining audio:

Premiere Pro also lets me easily export the audio separately from the video footage. This keeps file sizes manageable and allows me to upload the clean audio directly to Spotify Podcasters and Apple Podcasts, maximizing my reach.

So, aspiring podcasters, don’t underestimate the power of Premiere Pro! Take advantage of tools like Premiere Pro’s multi-cam feature, transcribe feature and exporting audio separately from your video content.

Building Community: Engaging with Patreon and Social Media

Our Patreon supporters and website subscribers play a big role for our podcast, receiving exclusive early access to episodes. My main online presence is my website where I created a dedicated landing page for each episode, featuring articles, videos, and audio files.  Additionally, I use Instagram and YouTube serve as platforms to engage with our audience by creating short video snippets and strategic promo videos. 

For instance, you’ll find snippets like Kyah Proctor sharing her challenges in securing contracts overseas. These teasers, typically around 60 seconds long, are posted on Instagram and YouTube, offering a glimpse into the heart of our conversations. They’re designed to encourage the audience to watch the full episode for more insightful content.

Looking Ahead: Empowering Others to Go For It

To aspiring podcasters, I offer a simple yet profound piece of advice: Begin. Embrace your unique rhythm, create inspiration, and never hesitate to seek guidance. 

If you require assistance with editing or filming your podcast, please fill out this media request form and I’ll be in touch shortly!