I say I had no clue. That’s not entirely true but it’s not far from the truth either.

I knew why I was creating a podcast, I just didn’t know how to make it happen.

After researching best practice, I ended up with a 60 episode podcast. I also walked away with priceless lessons to share, answers to my questions and this playbook.

Step 1: Know Why You’re Doing It

When I decided to make the Founder To Founder podcast it was to conduct research for a book I’m writing.

The book is called In Between and along with blogging, it’s one of the ways I increase collective wisdom. In Between is about how to move between ventures and projects in ways that help entrepreneurs become more effective in their next play. Think of it as a way to manage and grow stronger from grief in business. The founders I interviewed on Founder To Founder helped me to evolve the frameworks that I have come to rely on.

Step 2: Make Sure The Content Will Help At Least One Person

I’ve written about the 51% rule before and this step is an extension of that rule. And although I had an ulterior research motive when I started Founder To Founder, I still surveyed 100 people my weekly email list to see if mishaps and learnings from international entrepreneurs would change their life for the better.

86% said yes. And today I have hundreds of messages and emails that prove this podcast was helpful.

Step 3: Design For The Desired Experience

This is a podcast designed for commuting. And it’s purpose-built for those who want to learn about what it takes to build extraordinary products and companies without the sugar coating. That’s why the tag line is Real Founders. Real Talk. Real Advice.

I also thought carefully about the average commute time. It turns out that it’s between 25 and 45 minutes. This guided average episode duration. Although not every episode lands within that duration, I remained very aware that I was competing for attention and the longer the episode, the more likely I was to lose listeners.

Finally, understand where your podcast will be heard.

iTunes is by far and away the most popular destination for podcast listeners but a hint for new players; Each episode’s audio files don’t live on iTunes. They live on a hosting service.

I started hosting on SoundCloud and I recently moved to Whooshkaa for four reasons. First, it’s free. Second, it’s the only podcast host with tech that has a native Facebook audio player. Third, Whooshkaa is Australian made and fourth, their customer service is amazing.

Step 4: Use A Replicable Format

I used a five question interview format as the content strategy for Founder To Founder. Listeners have written me saying that they appreciate the consistency and it also (selfishly) made my research easier.

And in terms of structure every episode has four elements:

  1. Introduction which has the same cool music I bought on Premium Beat for $49 and the same voice over my friend Dee from Right Hook Digital recorded late one night.
  2. ‘The What’ a short custom introduction providing context to what you’re about to hear. I asked my friend Katy Golvala to help with this and she’s done a great job
  3. Interview featuring the guest founder
  4. ‘Outro,’ also voiced by Dee, which closes out each episode with a call to action (which in my case is to visit my blog).

Step 5: Get Help To Create The Podcast

I don’t know the first thing about producing a podcast. There’s a good chance you don’t either. And if you just thought “I can learn this, how hard can it be?”, stop kidding yourself.   

Get help.

Introducing Fiverr where I met Joel North (press play on the episode above to hear what he’s got to say).

I didn’t spend a cent before I started recording. We chatted about how to record on my computer and how to do virtual conversations using teleconference software (like Skype or Zoom).

Soon after we set up this workflow:

  1. The intro and outro were stored in a DropBox folder
  2. I wrote ‘The What’ script and emailed it to Katy which she recorded. She then dropped that file into the same Dropbox folder
  3. When I finished the interview with the founder I downloaded the audio recording and put it in the same Dropbox folder
  4. Joel then took all these ingredients and produced a finished product (free of ums, ahs and other weird stuff) which he put back into Dropbox
  5. I uploaded this file to Whooshkaa and they also magically took care of it appearing on iTunes

Episodes cost between $20 and $50 to get produced, depending on episode length.

And that’s it in a nutshell. I used my MacBook, the microphone in my iPhone headphones, Zoom and Fiverr to bring Founder To Founder to life. It really was that simple and I really enjoyed the experience.

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I hope this was useful. If you learned something, let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks!