Behind The Scenes /// Keith Part I

Untitled-34.jpg

Given the growth of our content, we find it difficult to provide a recorded update.  I love the idea Rodney had to blog instead.  Thus, I’m expanding on his idea to provide a behind the scenes update…from my perspective.

The Library

As Rodney mentioned, things have really picked up speed.  More people engaging.  More opportunities for conversations.  And a growing library of content.

The growing library is an amazing challenge.  When we first started we scrambled.  Asking, “who is going to be our next interview?”  Followed by a clunky editing process that pushed our release deadlines to the last minute.

The library now poses a new challenge.  How do we get this all edited for release?  Who do we release next?  These conversations are getting richer and richer as we improve our skills with dialogue.  It makes me want to release them all at once.  After all, you can easily listen to 10 hours of M.I.C. in one day…right?  Binge it? (he said sarcastically).

The Process

Having more content has really been a great challenge.  It has forced us to evaluate what strengths we each bring.  What pieces of this process do we each enjoy.  What don’t we like so much.  It’s an evolving approach, but we have certainly made great strides.

Rodney mentioned our monthly alternating strategy.  This has allowed us to gather more content.  But, it has also allowed us to focus on editing.  The edit process can be a bit tedious due to technology limitations.  Our recording software, Audacity, is amazing.  Though, it tends to be slow during editing.  It may take me an hour to review 10-15 minutes of content.

We have also taken a new approach.  I have started doing more of the content editing.  Previously I provided feedback and Rodney did the actual cutting.  Now, I take on most of it, Rod provides feedback, then executes the audio mastery.  He really has become great at that.  And it turns out I really enjoy the process.

Note: unlike other podcasts, we do edit a lot of content.  Part of what we are is conversation.  So, we want as much natural conversation as possible. Thus, we record for 90 minutes to 2 hours.  The edit process does cut some good stuff from time to time.  But, as we discuss with our guests, we try to keep the episode to an hour.  And, as you may know, Rod and I can jump around a lot.  If we didn’t clean that up, it would be impossible to follow.

Rodney Connects

As Rodney said, our guests come from friends, coworkers, and random people on vacations.  We have one friend who plays a silent partner role to connect us with a lot of people.

Now, what Rodney didn’t say is that he plays a huge role in this process.  Rodney has a natural ability to connect and build relationships.  It’s a quality I admire and, in some moments, envy.  I am good at connecting one on one and engaging.  But the ability to really build rapport and manage a relationship is something I can’t even compare.  Rodney likes people and people like Rodney.

I say this because it is critical to the amount of guests we talk to.  If I were tasked with it we may not find anyone.  He is instrumental in these efforts.  And it isn’t just a self-serving effort.  It is sincere, honest, and natural.  If M.I.C. didn’t exist, Rodney would probably meet our guests anyway.

So, while he says we find our guests from friends, friends of friends, or people on the sidewalk…Rodney really is the catalyst for them being on our show.  I simply want to share my appreciation for this role he plays in our process.

The Guests

Our guests have been amazing.  All of them.  For me, I get to meet great people and learn their stories.  People I wouldn’t otherwise meet.

The thing about our focus is that we aren’t just looking for people who will better promote our brand.  We aren’t just looking for famous folks, or people promoting a book or mission.  We look for people.  People who are open and willing to engage in dialogue and share their stories.

Granted, it will be great when we get people who have a broader network.  It will be cool when we get our first famous guest.  But, it will always be part of our mission to engage people.  It’s our root…it’s what defines us…and it is what makes this most enjoyable.

I think about this principle a lot as I listen to other podcasts.  Not that shows or podcasts I watch or listen to have it wrong.  I just get so much more enjoyment out of bringing stories to life that you can’t always research on line.  Introducing people that I may never have known if it weren’t for M.I.C.

The Blog

As we have gotten better at the podcast production, it has been so fun expanding with our blog.

I find it to be far more enjoyable than I anticipated.  It’s often really hard for me to submit, but the writing is a ton of fun.   I think it’s starting to become more like a journal and less like a blog.  It’s a cool process and we are really just getting started in this area.

The other thing about the blog, for me, is that it helps channel my lack of marketing skills.  Skills may not be the right word.  But, I really don’t like the marketing part.  Social has never been my thing.  I am terrible at maintaining Facebook or LinkedIn.  I never got on Twitter, Instagram or any medium Bill Belichick likes to butcher.

But, as we look to keep growing, marketing becomes important.  So the blog becomes a great way for me to naturally create content.  Granted, if no one read it I would still love creating it.  But, it’s a good avenue to promote our mission.

It is hard to keep up with our cadence.  But it is really fun to try.  I’m not sure what it is I like about it.  It’s just a challenge to concisely express thoughts.  And the cool thing has been that people have enjoyed reading.  At least the people who talk to me about the blogs :).  We haven’t hit “hater” stage yet.  I’m sure that will come.  And when it does, we will keep moving forward…

So, where does that leave us?

What’s bananas in all of this is that we are almost at 10,000 downloads.  We are selling t-shirts to fund our endeavor.  We have sold about 40% of our inventory.  People are reading and engaging.  Our original episode, ‘Shoot Ninja‘, is approaching 1,000 downloads.

July 7, 2017 we published our first episode.  Can’t believe we are coming up on our first anniversary.  The data shows the average podcast lasts just 6 episodes.  We published our 19th on Thursday (Follow Up to Vu Le).  We have published 6 “interviews” and continue to build our library.

It’s just an amazing journey.  We are now trying to better expand our reach and hopefully sell more t-shirts.   Trying to build our social footprint.  I think that is harder than the podcast itself.  A lot to consider with social as we go forward.

As of now, with all the content, we have built and are building we have content for another year.  That’s amazing!  Knowing we don’t need to worry about our next episode.  We just have to edit it.  And, at this rate, we will be evaluating an increased release cycle.

We are going to spend the month of July planning the next phase.  A lot of things to consider and continue to deliver.

Thank YOU

I do think Rodney and I would do this for a little while if no one was listening.  It is fun after all.  But, it’s not free and it would probably get boring with us just talking to each other.

But, because of the support you give us by listening, engaging, and buying shirts, we are able to keep going.  We can’t THANK YOU enough for tuning in, reading our words, and engaging with us.  It’s an absolute privilege to have you interested.  Hopefully we keep getting better and keep earning that privilege.

And as Rodney said:

“Last week I was asked when I’d be open to critique.  The answer is: always.  I get calls, texts, messages daily about what we should change and/or consider implementing.  I love it.  I love that people care enough to actually listen and then take more time to follow up.  We’re always down to consider new stuff.  We’re also down to say no thank you when it doesn’t fit our brand or current direction.

Drop us comments, texts, emails, and calls.”

Expose.Evaluate.Evolve