Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tips from a Podcaster: My Complete Toolkit

I have been getting a tremendous amount of questions lately about my podcast, how I set it up, the software that I use, and how I find guests.  Amid answering these, I thought I would put together a blog post to discuss it all! 

First, a little background.  I grew up in the entertainment industry and was an audio/video technician at Disney early in my career.  I studied Radio and Television Broadcasting at the University of Tennessee and have been around media production most of my life.  My first podcast is a live radio show done every Friday called The Work/Life Balance.  As of this post, I have 186 episodes airing weekly since December 11, 2015.  I am also the Chief Interviewer and guest host of the Transformational Leader Podcast sponsored by The John Maxwell Team.  We have 61 episodes since March 7, 2019 and I have been blessed by some incredible guests such as Ivan Misner, Barb Stegemann, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many more!

When I first started podcasting, I did not do much post-production.  As I continued to learn the industry, I began to develop and launch podcasts.  For instance, we just launched A Tongue Lashing with Damon Pampolina in March of this year and have several others in the works.

Why do a podcast?

One thing is for certain, podcasting has blown up as an industry.  According to Podcast Insights, there are over 850,000 podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes.  Over 350,000 podcasts have been created in the last two years.  70% of the population are aware of what a podcast is and more than half of all US consumers above the age of 12 listen to podcasts (Statista, 2019) which means roughly 155 million people have listened to podcasts in the United States alone.  Three out of every four podcast listeners in the US say they tune in to learn new things and 32% listen to podcasts at least once a month.  There is a tremendous audience out there.

Is there too much noise for me to start a podcast?

There are four things that I share with people when I get this question:
  1. The statistics show growth year over year, but it is difficult to categorize what is called podfade.  Many podcasters do not make it past their 7th episode without experiencing a decrease in motivation.  Statistics are not easy to come by for podfade, but in 2018 a statistic by Amplifimedia says that 75% of podcasts are no longer in production.  If we impute this statistic then, it will mean that there are only 212,500 podcasts producing new content.
  2. Just because a concept, topic, or idea has been covered before does not mean that you cannot cover it.  There are thousands of motivational speakers.  Personally, I get to work with one of the greatest communicators of our time in John Maxwell.  He has hundreds of books and has spoken to millions of people.  However, as famous as he is, I still meet many people each day who have never heard of him.  This means YOUR audience is out there.  People are waiting for how YOU address the content.  It may have been said or dealt with before, however, your audience is waiting to hear from you!
  3. Make sure you are doing the podcast FOR your audience.  Really understand the why of what you are doing.  Podcasting is becoming the new book.  I hear people often say that they will write a book because they have a great story to tell.  The question is, who will read it?  That is not meant to be mean, it is meant to make sure you are writing the book, or in this case recording your podcast, to satisfy your listeners.
  4. Plan out at least 10 episodes.  If you are unable to come up with 10 episodes of content and material, then you might be one of the many that experience podfade.

My Technical Setup

For recording my podcasts, I first started with the Blue Yeti microphone.  It was a great microphone to get started on, but as I appeared on many podcasts and my own, there was great inconsistency in the levels of the microphone.  After some time, I upgraded my setup for consistency.

Microphone: Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone – This microphone features a tight polar pattern and is tailored for voice frequency response.  It also features an internal pop filter to minimize plosive sounds that can overload the microphone capsule and distort the audio. Its high output dynamic capsule and balanced low impedance output make it an ideal broadcast and voice over microphone.

Boom Arm: - Rode PSA 1 Swivel Mount – This is the best mount that I have ever used.  It features 360-degree rotation and has the best desk mount that I have seen (without drilling a hole in your desk).  It stays in place without tightening screws and swivels on two axis points.  I can easily pull the microphone to the perfect position and push it away when I am done.

Pre-Amp: Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface – ProTools comes with the purchase of this device that helps set the levels to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound.

You Have Recorded Your Podcast, Now What?

Editing:  I use Audacity to edit my podcasts.  There are many good tools out there, it is just easier for me to use this one.

Publishing:  Again, there are several options to publish your podcast.  The platform that I use is called  It is very straight forward and easy.  The biggest benefit is that it centralizes your distribution and automatically submits the podcast to all the major platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc.)  Understanding where your listeners are and how they are listening is key to growing your audience.  Due to consolidation, it is easier to gather metrics of listeners.  This has been a fantastic platform.

Product Sales Platform:  ClickFunnels is an all in one platform that allows you to promote your podcasts, products, and create sales and marketing funnels.  If you are looking to monetize your podcast or sell books and products, the easy creation and tons of training can help you monetize in no time.

Blog:  I use Blogger for my blog.  Again, I look for a simple and easy to use platform.  You can customize your domain and integrate it with Google Ads.  Blogs are still a fantastic vehicle to advertise and promote content to grow your audience.

Lead Magnet:  Lead magnets are great for building audiences.  Designrr is a great tool to design and publish an e-book for easy lead magnets.  It has a unique cover creator to add some weight to the publication.  You can also import from several sources including a blog.  I converted my highest viewed blog posts into an e-book lead magnet and built my audience.

Transcription:  Another great way to get the word out about your show is using a transcription service.  This converts your audio into text for video or show notes.  I use Otter to create my transcriptions.  It is low cost and accurate.  It is also easy to edit.  One of the key time savers is that Otter can remember voices and match speakers.  This saves a tremendous amount of time against many of the other tools on the market.  The other great thing about transcription is that it helps with Search Engine Optimization.  The words that you have spoken during the podcast can be searched through the Internet and listeners looking for something relevant to you can find you in browser searches.

Social Media Automation:  One of my favorite new tools that I employ is called MissingLettr.  This tool will read a web page or blog and automatically create social media posts to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.  If you found this post from one of those social media platforms, then this tool really works!  You can do 2-week, 2-month, or 6-month campaigns.  There are still some light edits that you must do, but it creates several pieces of content for each post.  It also publishes your post to Medium which is another avenue for you to monetize your content.

Graphics:  I like Stencil for creating graphics on social media.  It is inexpensive and has many stock photos.  It also allows you to post directly to social media or to download the graphic.  The stock photos are searchable which allows for fast creation.

Video:  A newer tool on the market is Headliner.  It can find your podcast for you or you can upload it.  This creates a nice visual element for social media posts of your content.  I use it for snippets.  I edit about 4-5 minutes of good content from my podcast and post that as a teaser for social media with links to the blog that links to the audio file.

Finding Guests:  A new tool that is making it easier to find great guests is called MatchMaker.  They call themselves the Tinder of podcasts.  At the time of this post, it is completely free.  You can sign up and list your podcast and list yourself as a guest.  You can request to be a guest on other podcasts and the app allows people to request a booking on yours.  I have found some phenomenal new contacts via this app.

Scheduling Your Guests:  One of the biggest time savers that I found was Calendly.  It integrates directly to my calendar and allows guests to choose the best time and day.  It is real-time and sees when you are booked doing other things.  This cuts down on all the scheduling e-mails.  You can also customize the messages with instructions and guest prep packets to educate and prepare your guests.

Stay on top of Reading:  I like to use  It is a book summary service that has audio or text of the summary.  It is also searchable.  If you are looking to get educated about a topic prior to interviewing a guest or just want to stay on top of the latest books, this is a great source of information.

The Workflow – My Step by Step System

There were quite a few tools discussed there!  It can feel overwhelming.  To help, here is the process that I use to incorporate all these tools.  It usually takes me 1-2 hours post show to run through the whole process.


  • Find my guests through Matchmaker.
  • Send my Calendly link to schedule the podcast.
  • Find relevant material and articles on the Internet or through


  • Use Audacity to edit the show and create a 4-5 minute snippet.
  • Upload and schedule the show to air in
  • Upload the show and the snippet to Otter to transcribe.
  • Upload the snippet to Headliner to create the video.
  • Download the transcriptions from Otter.
  • Post the long form transcription to my blog (with links to my podcast page).
  • Go to MissingLettr and input the blog page.
  • Use Stencil to create graphics for social media posts.
  • Upload the snippets and the transcriptions (SRT files) to social media.
  • Edit MissingLettr and activate the campaign.

I hope this helps!  Fight the podfade and happy podcasting!

No Day But Today,


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