Daniel J. Lewis has been Podcasting since 2007. He runs the website The Audacity to Podcast, which helps give people advice and tips about how to run a successful podcast. Daniel continues to help small businesses, as well as people new to Podcasting, on setting up your show and helping with any problems they might have.
Daniel is also available to speak about podcasting, social media, or consulting.
Narrator: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches, and info marketers unite. The speaking of wealth show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand, and become the go to guru, the speaking of wealth show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth show. This is your host Jason Hartman, where we discuss profit strategies for speakers, publishers, authors, consultants, coaches, info marketers, and just go over a whole bunch of exciting things that you can use to increase your business, to make your business more successful and more and more passive and more and more automated and more and more scalable. So we will be back with a great interview. Be sure to visit us at speakingofwealth.com. You can take advantage of our blog, subscribe to the RSS feed, and many other resources for free and speakingofwealth.com and we will be back with a great interview for you in less than 60 seconds.
Start of Interview with Daniel J. Lewis
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Daniel J. Lewis to the show. He is an award winning podcaster, and he helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and succeeding in business. Daniel creates training, resources and podcasting tools. He offers one on one consulting, website design work, speaks on design, social media, podcasting. And Daniel hosts a network of award nominated shows covering how to podcast, clean comedy and the number one unofficial podcast for ABC’s hit drama Once Upon a Time. Daniel, welcome. How are you?
Daniel J. Lewis: Thank you Jason, I’m really excited to talk about this today.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, well it’s good to have you on the show and thank you so much for recently helping me get out of a jam where I had a technical problem with one of my shows, so I appreciate that. That’s how we came to meet, and we were referred by a prior guest on the show, Cliff Ravenscraft who most of our listeners probably know Cliff. But tell us what you’re up to nowadays and what’s keeping you busy.
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, I’m an entrepreneur so I have my hands in many different fires. I host several different podcasts myself, like the podcast about podcasting. That won the award for number one tech podcast in 2012. I also host a clean comedy podcast. My podcast about Once Upon a Time. But in addition to creating content in that and other channels, I am really involved with this new project I’m launching called My Podcast Reviews, that gets people their reviews for their podcast automatically delivered to them via Email from all the international stores. It’s not up yet at the time of this recording, but it is launching very soon at mypodcastreviews.com and we’ve got a list over there.
I’m just excited to help podcasters really succeed in whatever way that they define success, whether it’s just sharing their passions in this podcasting field as a hobby, or if they want their podcast to help them succeed in business and build some wealth.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Since you brought it up, let’s first talk a little bit about and drill down on My Podcast Reviews. Does that actually generate more reviews? Does it help drive reviews? Or does it tell people when they get reviews or both?
Daniel J. Lewis: When it launches it will tell you about your reviews, but I have a future roadmap for this thing, that it will be continuously upgraded and new features added to it. Later on down the road there will be a way that it will help you get more reviews for your podcast in iTunes as well. But that’s maybe later this year, maybe next year but it’s primary purpose is to give you the reviews for your podcast so you don’t have to go into iTunes, check those reviews every day, search for your podcast, then change your international store to some other location, check the reviews there, change your store again, check reviews… that alone can take you an hour just for one podcast, and if you have multiple podcasts like you do Jason, you’ve got several great podcasts, it would take you hours and hours to do this.
Jason Hartman: Oh yeah. And I must admit, I almost never check them. And sometimes I get a little bit shocked if I go in and look at those reviews. If I ever need a pick me up I go in and read my reviews. There’s a couple that annoy me of course. Everybody’s got a heckler in the audience. But gosh, that will really cheer you up. You really realize you’re doing something for the world when you read those reviews from total strangers. I don’t know who these people are. It’s a great thing. But when you say international stores, what do you mean by that?
Daniel J. Lewis: Well when you log into iTunes from your computer in the United States of America with your iTunes account, it’s associated with the United States of America store. So all the reviews you’re seeing are only from people in the US. You can’t see the reviews from people in Canada, in the United Kingdom, from Germany, from any other country. You’re looking at just the US basically.
Jason Hartman: Wow, so even Canadians are using a different iTunes?
Daniel J. Lewis: Right. It’s associated with their account. And what you can actually do in iTunes is you can switch which store you’re looking at and you’ll be able to then look at your reviews specific to that store. And that’s what, like for Canadians when they log into iTunes, they’re looking at the Canadian version. So it’s the same exact iTunes catalogue, all the same podcasts you can search, the rankings are a little bit different though because certain podcasts are more popular in some countries than others. And when they write a review it goes into that particular store instead of the main US store that you see.
Jason Hartman: Right, right. I knew iTunes was different in, for example, Germany and other countries, but I didn’t think Canada and the US were actually split. And I’m sure this has a lot to do with the way digital rights are managed and the music industry and so forth, I’m just guessing there. But I have a feeling that’s one of the big reasons. But a podcaster could have either positive or negative reviews and not even know about them. My podcast, I know I’ve got listeners for my most popular show, the Creating Wealth show in 154 countries, and I have no idea what people are saying in Zimbabwe or Slovakia. How do I find this out?
Daniel J. Lewis: That’s where… the manual way is changing your store inside of iTunes when you’re logged in, if you go to the lower right corner of the screen inside the iTunes store, you see a little American flag. If you click on that you can change you store to one of their other 155 other countries that they offer. And to them, check your reviews for one podcast, that means you have to change your store, find your one podcast again in that new store and check the reviews. That will take an hour maybe just for one podcast. But that’s why I’m creating my podcast reviews because it will go pull all of that information for you and automatically send it to you in an email or RSS feed each week. Or even some of the higher plans will offer each day to show you your new reviews because your written reviews help your listing in iTunes.
The more reviews you get, the higher you show up in iTunes search results. So it’s an exponential effect in growing the audience to your podcast, the more people who review you, the more people who come to your podcast who review you and bring more people in. It just keeps working around in a cycle like that.
Jason Hartman: Right. Well, that’s fantastic. Just out of curiosity, and we’ll move on from this but I just kind of have one more question on it. Obviously this is very important and this is going to be a fantastic service. But how do you do it? Are you getting an RSS feed from iTunes?
Daniel J. Lewis: There are some trade secrets to that, some ways that I have some access to some back end information from Apple, but for the user then, what they would do is they would just create their account on the site when it’s available, enter the name of their podcast or podcasts if they have multiple podcasts and then they set up to say I want to receive an Email on this particular day of the week, and then from then on out it will Email them automatically with their new reviews or even updated reviews so they can see, and even thank people then in their podcasts to say John, David, Michael thank you so much for your iTunes reviews.
Jason Hartman: Wow. Yeah, good. I bet that will make the other listeners who haven’t bothered to give you a review feel a little left out and they might want to then go and review you. So that is a fantastic service. I can hardly wait to subscribe. Any idea on what the cost will be just roughly?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, it will start out if you have just one podcast, there are many of those out there that are just a solo podcaster, and that would be $5 a month and it would give you a weekly Email with your new podcast reviews and that way you can see who it is, where the review came from, what store, was it a one star, was it a 5 star, what did they say in their review, when was it left… all that information and then there will be higher plans like a $15 a month and a $25 a month plan depending on how many podcasts you have. Like the $25 a month plan is for networks out there who have more than 5 podcasts, closer to 10 podcasts and who want to receive a daily Email.
And there are even options if you want to do some market research like monitor the iTunes reviews of all of your competition and see what people are saying about your competition and learn from that, and see how you can make your podcast better and maybe answer questions that your competition isn’t answering. You can have kind of an al la cart or enterprise level where it starts at $2.50 per podcast for 11 or more podcasts that you want to monitor and that gives you daily Emails, RSS feed and some other tools coming out soon.
Jason Hartman: One of the things I think that this would, I mean this is well worth the cost-you ought to charge more – but I can’t believe I’m saying that. Let me take that back, don’t charge more because I want to use this. But Daniel, one of the things that has annoyed me about iTunes is that you can’t copy your reviews on there and use them in other marketing. I’d love to use in my social media say, so and so on iTunes just reviewed us and here’s what they say. But you have to retype all of that. So if this comes in an Email I’m sure at the very least, you can copy and paste it right?
Daniel J. Lewis: Exactly. And there will be some integrations later on in the future where you’ll be able to very easily put these on your website as well. Or for now you could just copy and paste them. And I wrote a little eBook to go along with promoting this service. And I’m giving it out free for anyone who signs up to be notified when the service launches at mypodcastreviews.com and it’s a list of seven ways to get more reviews for your podcast on iTunes.
Jason Hartman: Okay so that’s mypodcastreviews.com. Fantastic. I see it now, and I see you’re going to launch very soon here .
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, that date that you see might need to be bumped back a little bit, but…
Jason Hartman: Well that’s how every startup goes. Well good, that is super exciting Daniel. I can’t wait to get that. Tell us about some of the other things that you do and just some of the challenges. Really, we just talked about a big challenge podcasters have: monitoring their reviews, generating more reviews and monitoring their competition. Very important – the old saying in business is “find a need and fill it”. So if you see that there’s a hole in the market here where say a competing podcast people are reviewing and saying this, and you see something missing you can address that and you can fill that need for the listeners. So that’s just an ideal product. But what are some of the other challenges that podcasters are having and any solutions that you might offer or somebody else might offer out there in the market place?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, the main three things that I see podcasters wanting help with the most, besides the stuff like setting it up, fixing a problem, picking the right equipment, that sort of stuff tends to be kind of one time problems. But the ongoing issues podcasters usually need help with is number 1 growing their audience, number 2 getting feedback or some kind of engagement or interaction with their audience, and number 3 making money from their podcast in some way. Now all three of these may or may not matter to some podcasters out there depending on how they’re running their podcast. And that’s entirely up to them. They don’t have to make money from their podcast, they don’t have to have an audience of thousands or millions of people or whatever their goal is. But if this is important to them, it’s usually one of these three things or all of these three things. And that’s what I help people with through either the regular content I produce through the Audacity to Podcast or I have a separate course that I teach called Podcast Master Class where I teach people how to take their current podcast from average to amazing in these three aspects as well as many other aspects.
Jason Hartman: I have a confession to make. I started podcasting with my first show back in 2007 back in the old days, and the first time I ever heard of the concept of podcasting I was listening to Leo Laporte The Tech Guy, and somebody called into his radio show KFI in Los Angeles and Leo expanded on it and explained to the audience what podcasting was, and I thought I’ve got to do this. Because I was on Terrestrial Radio back then, and the podcasting works so much better because people find you.
It’s an organic type of a growth so the listener quality on a podcast versus Terrestrial Radio is just far superior in my opinion. Because Terrestrial is just sort of hit and miss and they may or may not be interested but they’re still kind of listening to you. On a podcast you can qualify them, take them down the sales funnel… so a bunch of good things there. And I’ve thought I’ve been doing very, very well at podcasting but much to my surprise I’ve kind of had a wakeup call recently where I’m going back to school. And I’m being a student.
There are a lot of great people out there such as yourself that are really teaching people how to manage the marketing of a podcast, and the reviews on a podcast and there’s just a lot of techniques that can really hack the system, juice it up, put it on steroids, whatever you want to call it. But expand a lot. It’s exciting – there’s just so many people out there with so much knowledge and information as you’re talking about. So that’s great. Good stuff. Okay, so you were talking about some of the challenges and we covered the one time challenges and I certainly agree with you there.
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, and some of the ways people can overcome some of these things. Growing your audience, well find a way to leverage word of mouth because that’s the best way that people grow their audience and the best way that a listener or consumer finds another podcast to consume is that they heard about it from somebody that they trust or they heard about it in another podcast. So find ways that you can leverage word of mouth, getting other people talking about your content. And that often means producing such great content that other people want to talk about it.
For looking at monetizing your content, look at what you can offer outside of the podcast. Don’t just think in terms of a podcast sponsorship, but look at what you can offer like a product or a service outside of the podcast that your podcast can be connected to in some way and promote and then you have no limit to how much you could earn from that. There was a client I worked with that offers a 7 thousand dollar training course and all it takes is one person to buy that, and they’ve had many people buy it but it just takes one person and they’ve made 7 thousand dollars. That’s far more than they could get for a podcast sponsorship. So find those high value items that you can make, whether it be a digital product, or a consulting service or a webinar… something that you can create that’s valuable to your people.
And then for getting engagement from your audience, make conversations. Find ways that you can ask questions that your audience will want to respond to you and want to engage in a conversation. Leave something open ended. Ask for their suggestions. Sometimes even be a little bit controversial and say hey, please tell me where I’m wrong or tell me why you disagree with this.
So many people out there that want engagement aren’t leading a conversation. It’s like going up to someone and saying it’s great weather today. It’s like, okay yeah it is… this is instead of asking them hey, what do you think of this weather? Then it’s like oh, here’s what I think. So you’re engaging with them and apply that with your podcast. Even if you don’t do a podcast but you host a blog and you want comments on it, ask specific questions of your readers and leave certain things open that people will want to participate in the conversation. And you need to be in that conversation too.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Any book or guru that teaches people how to have better conversations or how to network, anything like that, one of the first things they’re going to say is ask open ended questions. So I think that’s a very good point. Now how would you have them engage with you though? Would you have them engage on say your Facebook page, your own website, where do they come back and answer the question that you asked?
Daniel J. Lewis: Well the most important things are to make it easy for them, to make it something that they’re already familiar with, and to make it something that you check. And I would suggest it being something that you own, like your own website or your Email but it doesn’t have to be. That’s just a suggestion there. So being easy for people. If you tell them go to my website for my Email address and your Email address is written like Feedback with this bracket sign and then you say A with a little circle around it bracket, and all of this stuff, you’re basically telling people do not Email me at all. I don’t want to hear from you. I’m making this very hard for you to contact me. Put your Email address out there.
If you’re using WordPress there’s a plugin called cryptx that can encrypt your Email address so that it’s still clickable and copy/pastable for humans, but it’s encrypted for bots. And just get good spam protection for your Email service. Don’t inconvenience the people you want to communicate with you. Inconvenience yourself a little bit. Let’s get a little Spock here, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. So don’t inconvenience thousands of people just for your own convenience. Use a tool that works for you and works for your audience. Make it easy for them.
Go where they are. If you have a large following on Google+ or Twitter or any of these different social networks, engage with them on there. Be aware of what people are saying there and respond to the communication. This doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere, but be where you can be. If that means just on Twitter and Facebook, then be in those places very well and leave these other places. Still have your trademarks in these other places, but maybe leave those off to the side and point to people saying we’re much more active over in these places.
Jason Hartman: Yeah. Makes sense. Okay, that’s good. So I’m kind of surprised you even suggested an Email rather than them going to a webpage for example. Any particular reason for that?
Daniel J. Lewis: Well, you can do both. And I really suggest that you use as many different ways and offer as many different ways as possible that are easy and going to a website is an easy way, like you can point people to go to mypodcast.com/feedback and it has a forum, it has an Email address. But the thing is that people like doing things in their own way and having an Email address means that they can click on it and use their own email program.
Sometimes it’s easier for them to use their own Email program than it is to visit a website and fill out a form especially if they’re on a mobile device and your website isn’t mobile friendly. Forms can be very difficult to fill out on a mobile device even if they’re mobile optimized, sometimes they can still be a little bit difficult and inconvenient. So sometimes it’s just more convenient for them to have that Email option where they can just tap on that and it opens their Email program and they send their message that way. It’s all about yes, you should funnel them into the ways that you want to receive feedback and interact with them, but don’t force them into one way or the other.
Jason Hartman: Good. Use their modality. Use the way they like to most interact and engage and communicate. Fantastic advice. Any other examples you want to share on monetization? You mentioned the seven thousand dollar course that one of your clients sells on his podcast, do you care to mention what that is or any other examples? I think people struggle with how do they monetize. Maybe they like the idea of podcasting for whatever reason, maybe just as a cathartic thing if nothing else, just to get on the air and talk. But if they’re in the especially traditional businesses they really struggle with how to monetize a podcast.
Daniel J. Lewis: Right. I suggest looking for the kinds of products or services that you can create where it doesn’t take you extra time for each additional lead or client who gets it. So one on one consulting, that takes additional time but maybe for me, for example, I offer one on one consulting to help people launch or improve their podcast or fix problems and such. And that takes extra time, so I can’t handle a thousand clients – I can only handle so many. But then I have other products and services that don’t take my actual time like that. So think about those things that you can offer, even if it’s just starting out with maybe a $5 eBook and then later on you have a $10 eBook or $15 eBook, and then a $20 course or a $20 video. And then later on a $100 course or maybe a $1000 course.
But something like that where if one person buys it, you profit from it and it takes you no time at all. If a thousand people buy it, you profit a lot more but it still hasn’t taken you any extra time. That’s getting into passive income where you’re doing all the hard work at the beginning, making something great that people will see the value in it, and it is good information. It is helpful or entertaining to them and then when you sell that, each sale after that as long as it’s something you don’t have to update, each sale then doesn’t take any more of your time and you can start focusing on other products or services in order to sell or promote.
Jason Hartman: The beauty of scalability. I love it. Absolutely great advice. When entrepreneurs discover that, it’s pretty easy to get addicted to. It’s just a beautiful thing. And what’s really amazing is for example for your client with the seven thousand dollar course, how few of these things you really have to sell but also how big the market place is. There are just people all over the planet hungry for knowledge, for inspiration, for a cause in which to get behind and believe it. Whatever it is, the book Abundance that Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler wrote, I had Steven on my show, and they talk about the rising billion and how we’re on the verge of having another billion people come into the online world. And granted they’re not at the United States level of economic prosperity and so forth or the western level, but this is a billion people. And the market places are so big that it’s just really incredible. Doesn’t that amaze you?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah it is. Because to realize that even a new generation too of people who… I’m now in my 30s and I’m talking to people in their teenage years or 20s and I’m thinking boy, I wish I was where you were or I wish I had access to this information when I was your age.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, me too. I know I can get kind of envious about that sometimes because it is an amazing world where you can work in your house, you can be at Starbucks and you can host a podcast and you can reach the entire planet. I’ll never forget back in maybe 2007 I was sitting in a coffee shop in Tallinn, Estonia in Eastern Europe and I published a podcast from there and I thought what an amazing era in which we’re living Daniel. That literally here I am sitting in a coffee shop in a whole other part of the world and I can reach just a huge amount of the planet. I mean, wow. If you’re not podcasting you need to be folks. It’s an amazing thing.
It has struck me as sort of interesting that a lot of what I’ll call, I don’t know how else to refer to this group, but I’ll call them internet marketers, how many of them don’t podcast and a lot of those are using the sort of typical lead pages format and tripwire and sales funnel and all of these buzz words we all hear all the time. And I don’t know what it is, I’ve invited them some of them onto my show and a few of them say yes and come on but a lot of them don’t respond. And I’m wondering do they just think there’s no money in this? Do they think that they don’t want to give away their information for free? I kind of wonder what goes through their mind. It’s just sort of an interesting thing to me.
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah it’s a bit of both of those things or all of those things. There is the thought of, I don’t want to give away my best stuff, but the more information you give away especially in a podcast where you’re speaking with your own voice, you can perceived as an expert so much better through a podcast because you can’t edit yourself as much. Yes, you can go back and remove some ums and uhs and stuff but people can hear in your voice-how confident are you? How passionate are you? That doesn’t communicate in your writing no matter how many exclamation points you put in there or how many words you capitalize and yell at people. But in your writing you can edit it, you can re-edit it, edit it again, and just perfect the language. You can’t do that with your voice. It doesn’t come out very well.
So when you’re doing a podcast and sharing information you are showing and demonstrating with your words how much of an expert you are on this. It’s like with my own podcast, The Audacity to Podcast, I’m giving away so much information. How to do this, how to fix this problem, how to make this decision, what your best choices are here and there, all of this information that I’m giving away, sharing my expertise with the world. And I still have other information that I haven’t given away yet and people I think know that and they hire me for that information. But at the same time I’m showing I know what I’m talking about, I know how to handle this stuff and so I’m demonstrating my expertise by giving away information so when people need help they often come back to me for that help because I’ve already proven I’m an expert without having to tell them I’m an expert hire me, I’m an expert with pop ups and banner ads and all of that stuff.
Jason Hartman: Yeah it has amazed me with my real estate investing podcast, the creating wealth show, how much simpler it got to run my real estate investment business because I just feel like I don’t have to repeat myself anymore. The clients hear it on the podcast and they come to me as a much better informed, much better educated client. My staff loves it, all the investment counselors love it because again, they can move on. The client has the basics down. They even have the advanced stuff down, and by the time they contact us they’re ready for action. It just really shortens the sale cycle, it gives you a much better quality client, a much more educated client, a much more on board client that just believes in you, your company, what you do, what you offer, what your philosophy is, etc. So I can’t say enough about it. We’re both believers obviously in this medium.
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, not only have you educated them but you’ve also earned their trust by doing this, by producing high quality content over and over again and presenting that content very well. You’ve earned their trust and that’s such a huge thing in this space, but there are so many marketers and infomercials and all of this stuff that just like always, it’s not a new problem really but just like always there is the snake oil salesman out there and these people that are hosting get rich quick things and just giving bad advice but by giving away this information you’re gaining their trust and people can try this stuff that you’re giving away. And they realize yeah, he knows what he’s talking about, he’s trust worthy, this stuff actually works, he’s right about this. So I know for sure I want to hire him. I want to work with him.
Jason Hartman: Couldn’t agree more, couldn’t agree more. What do you think about video podcasting? Are you doing it first of all? For example, you have a YouTube Channel. Are you converting your audio podcasts to video? I do that. Or are you truly making first hand video content and what do you think about video versus audio?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, it goes back to be everywhere you can be well. And I’ve started getting into video more and more in the last couple years and I do separate supplementary content in video because an audio podcast might be an hour or even longer in length. For our Once Upon a Time podcast about the TV show, which is only 45 minutes of TV show content, we have a podcast that sometimes goes as long as two hours and no one complains about the length of it. The only complaint we got was related to a technical issue. But that was it. And people can consume audio in so many more places. You can listen to an audio podcast while you’re driving, while you’re mowing the yard, while you’re doing dishes, while you’re jogging. Even depending on your office job you can listen to podcasts while you’re at work doing certain work at your job.
And you can’t consume video in all of these places, at least not safely. So audio is so much more consumable but video can be so much more engaging and a lot more helpful to people. Because in audio form you have to explain things, describe things… it’s just like a picture is worth a thousand words because it might take a thousand words to explain that picture when you could just show them this is what I’m talking about instead of having to explain it. So video works very well for showing people things, not just a talking head, not just basically the screen saver approach where an audio podcast plays and something that’s going on on the screen that’s maybe relevant, maybe a slideshow basically.
So my recommendation for getting into video is be where you can be well, and for video that doesn’t mean that you have to produce an hour long video, but you could have a 5 minute long video that points people to your hour long audio podcast. Maybe you pick a particular point from your hour long discussion that you want to show people in more detail. That kind of stuff works really well in video and gets you then on video platforms besides just being on iTunes, which I have a separate video version. It’s not really a video version of The Audacity to Podcast but it’s a separate show. It’s called Podcasting Video tips. It’s on iTunes as well as a video podcast. And that’s complimentary material. I host it there on iTunes as well as I put it there on YouTube.
So by having actual video content on a video platform by YouTube, I’m reaching that audience in the way that they’re comfortable being reached and in a way that’s more consumable to them. Because people on YouTube expect to see video and they expect that video to be short. They don’t have as long of an attention span on YouTube so I make shorter form videos for YouTube, 5-15 minutes reviewing a product, showing them how to do something, answering some question in a visual way. And that’s working really well in bringing people back to the audio podcast as well as just kind of that quick information to get out there, to release something that’s a little bit more timeless.
In the audio podcast I may announce, hey coming up in a few weeks, and I give a specific date too so people know that date, such and such is going on. Like, my podcast reviews will be launching or podcast master class, next session starts at such and such date. I can say that in the audio podcast, but in the video I’m trying to be more timeless so years from now I can still point people back to that video and say watch this video and that will help you out. So the video is very targeted, very relevant but still ties in with the other content I produce. And I can cross post that on my website to give me more content on my website. So it’s a great way to spread out and people who blog, audio podcast and post video grow their audience so much faster than people who just do one of these three formats.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, good points. And when you do videos, obviously there’s just the typical video which is turning on a camera and taping it, but it’s funny we still call that taping it, isn’t it Daniel? When it’s digital, but…
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, that’s a hard one to overcome.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, yeah a lot of these things are hard to overcome. But do you use a screen casting software like Camtasia or ScreenFlow? I guess those are referred to as screen casting software’s because when you’re telling people how to do something, that can really be helpful if you’re doing that in that format. I was just kind of wondering if you use that and which one you like?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, it depends on the kind of video that I’m doing. So if it is something that I need to show them on the computer, I’m on an OS10 Macintosh Computer so I prefer to use ScreenFlow, and if you’re on Windows you can use Camtasia. But there are even tools like if you use YouTube Live and use Google Hangouts, in a Google Hangout you can share your screen and that records it directly to YouTube. So that can be a way that you can even record your screen without investing in extra software. Now, the quality is a little bit different and some of the other things might not be where you want it to be, but it’s still a great way to do it. And you don’t have to invest in thousands of dollars of equipment. You can get even the inexpensive webcam like the Logitech c920 for face video. It’s a great camera. It’s not as good as a digital SLR or a digital camcorder but it is very good and it’s better than the built in camera on your laptop computer. And you can get some great video that way very inexpensively and edit that with some basic video editing software and then upload it.
Jason Hartman: And just to comment on that, I’ll say if you just use your iPhone, or smart phone or built in camera if it’s in a late modeled Mac like we probably both have, it’s not bad. I think more of the video problems come when the sound quality is bad and the lighting is bad.
Daniel J. Lewis: Exactly.
Jason Hartman: I don’t even think you need to buy a camera, frankly. But if you want to be a pro level you can. But they’re HD… if you’ve got decent lighting, and lighting is so simple. It’s just three lights. There are lots of videos that will teach you about lighting online, on YouTube and so forth. And you’ve got to have a mic on you, rather than using built in microphones. If you do those two things, you’re in pretty good shape right?
Daniel J. Lewis: Right. The most important parts of video are your audio and then your lighting. Those can make up for a cheap camera. Because if people can’t hear you then it doesn’t matter how good you look because you’re communicating through voice. So they need to be able to hear you well, and your lighting can make up for a cheap camera.
And an even easier way to light up yourself well is stand near an open window on a sunny day and you can get some nice, very clean light coming through. And actually that’s what I do when I do some of my videos, is I have one light that I use with some daylight calibrated fluorescent light bulbs in it and I put that on one side of the room and I have an open window on the other side of the room, so I kind of get this two light look and the open window also nicely lights the background. So I get a very well lit scene and people wouldn’t realize that half of my light is coming from a window and the other half is from a light bulb or a few light bulbs inside.
Jason Hartman: Great point. And I know we’re going a little long here, but I wanted to ask you about different platforms for podcasting. It seems like SoundCloud is really coming up fast, and of course everybody’s on iTunes, and I don’t even know what MiRow is. Of course I’m on Stitcher, but what’s MiRow? I hate to sound like an idiot, but…
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, MiRow is another player out there that is popular for people who don’t like iTunes. It’s not as popular as it used to be because so much is going in the direction of mobile devices instead of desktop applications, but MiRow is still a good place and there are other platforms for mobile devices where you should be. And when looking at these different platforms like SoundCloud, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, iTunes, all of this stuff, the most important thing although many of these tools, there are ways that you can use them to podcast that may not be the best way to do it. Like you don’t have to have your own website to host a podcast. Btu it’s so much better if you have your own website.
So what I always recommend to people is always have your own platform first and that’s where you point everyone to get your content. You tell them go here to subscribe in iTunes. Don’t tell them find me on iTunes, tell them to go to your website to get the link to iTunes. Or for Stitcher or whatever other app that they use because not everyone uses iTunes or Stitcher. And you’re pointing them then to your own platform and that platform then becomes the distribution point for all of these other services like iTunes and Spreaker and SoundCloud even.
If you’re on SoundCloud don’t use their RSS feed. Because then you might lose your audience if you try to leave SoundCloud. But you could crosspost your content to SoundCloud and reach that audience, or you could use SoundCloud as just a media host, depending on which plan you pay for and link to that from your own website so you’re still point people to your website to get your content even though you’re using SoundCloud’s service or Spreaker or anything like that. So, again, be everywhere you can be and especially when it comes to podcast and podcast directories, a lot of these places are where you submit your RSS feed and you don’t have to do anything else after that. So everywhere that you can do that, try to be in those directories like Blackberry, Zune, The Microsoft Podcast directory is what used to be Zune, and Stitcher and iTunes, and all of these places where you just give them your RSS feed and then you keep updating that RSS feed and you’re in those other platforms.
Jason Hartman: Right. Getting onto SoundCloud is more complicated because SoundCloud is not just an aggregator that will take your RSS feed, they’re also a hosting service like Amazon or Libsyn or there are others out there too. So you need to upload your content to SoundCloud.
But I’ll tell you something, SoundCloud is pretty cool. There is some neat technology there. I particularly like the way that people can comment on a specific segment of any episode so if you mention, we’re talking here and if you mention something they can comment just on that little part. That’s pretty neat, isn’t it?
Daniel J. Lewis: Yeah, and that’s something great that you can do. I would suggest if you use that, put it on your own website that way you’re pointing people back to your own platform instead of pointing them to SoundCloud because what happens if you decide it’s too expensive to run it on SoundCloud and you want to run it in a different way, and you have all these old episodes where you’ve said check out my podcast on SoundCloud. Well, now you have to either go edit those or you have to realize that people who look for you on SoundCloud will no longer find you. But if you have your own platform and you always point people to that, then it doesn’t matter what technologies that you use or embed on that site because they’re always going to your platform that you own.
Jason Hartman: Yeah. Right, right. That’s very good advice. A lot of people are building their whole careers around things like Facebook, and you don’t own that. Facebook can shut you off, they can turn your page off. It’s happened to a few people I know and they don’t even know why. A big podcaster I know, his YouTube Channel was shut down and they never told him why. And they did turn it back on, but that’s kind of scary to hang your whole hat on some other platform that you don’t control so very, very good advice, Daniel. Well, your website is theaudacitytopodcast.com, and you’ve got some great content there. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world. And maybe just before you go I just wanted to ask you if there’s anything I didn’t ask you that you wanted to mention or cover, please do.
Daniel J. Lewis: No, I think we covered everything here very well for your audience and I’d certainly love to help anyone else out there either launch or improve their own podcast for sharing your passions or creating success.
Jason Hartman: Okay, great. Well Daniel J. Lewis thank you so much for joining us today.
Daniel J. Lewis: You’re very welcome. I enjoyed this conversation today, Jason.
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Transcribed by Ralph