Speaker 0 00:00:06 Hello, and welcome back to the audience podcast. I'm your host Craig Hewitt from cast us. In this episode, I sit down with my friend ed fry, Fogel, who is also a business owner and started his podcast about a year ago in the technology space in this episode, ed and I talk through kind of a lot of the process and the procedure that he's developed to keep his podcast, something that's sustainable for him as a busy business owner and parents. And even in these times of COVID when, when all of our lives are kind of turned upside down, I really enjoyed this conversation with ed because it brought out what we need to do and what we need to not do in order to make a podcast, something that we can really stick with. So lots of really great nuggets in this conversation with ed Vogel. I hope you enjoy it. I just thought it'd be fun to kind of hear, cause, I mean, I hear you talk about it on the podcast with Steve, but why you started the GMO podcast, what it's all about kind of how it fits in with other stuff you do around like the event, especially in, and kind of go from there.
Speaker 1 00:01:06 I'm giving some background about what your love is and how that got started. So I was living in London and there's obviously a thriving tech scene in London. So there was an event that got started an event called geo mob, which was going to be about this. This was kind of in the like 2006, 2007, 2008 timeframe when smart phones were just coming out. And so it was about mobile and location-based services. So hence the name geo and mom, mom for mobile and, you know, very quickly, obviously mobile exploded. And so there were lots of your mobile events. So then the direction of the event became much more just focused on the geo aspect and the technical possibilities opened up by smart phones and location-based services. And so we, we have this kind of in-person event that once a quarter and it just kind of informally and someone would do a few people would give talks and then we'd go to a pub, hang out kind of a steady following 50 to a hundred people would show up and we'd all have some very interesting talks.
Speaker 1 00:02:07 And we did that for about 10 years and it was going great. But the one issue that we would always have is a lot of people who couldn't make it to London would always tweet about it and have a website. And people would always be like, Oh, this is great. Can you record the videos? I can't make it to London, but recording the videos is a lot of work. You know, you need to have a good camera and microphones and stuff. And to do that in a way that you can really capture it and deal with the video and then put it online, it was just always too much effort. And this was always just kind of a side hobby thing. So we kind of always resisted that. But then we did start thinking about, is there a way we can get people more involved?
Speaker 1 00:02:43 And I started listening to a lot of podcasts and then we thought, well, maybe we could do a podcast. And in hindsight at the time it was fantastic because we ended up watching the podcast in February of 2020, uh, unbeknownst to us then the pandemic, which started, you know, two later. Yeah. So it's done really well during the pandemic times. And the format of the podcast is we, um, just basically interview people. It's myself and my friend, Sue Feldman at dinner, the cohost and some episodes is just about one in five episodes. It's kind of us talking and sharing the stories of our own products or commenting on things happening in the industry. And then the rest of the episodes where you're interviewed people from who have spoken on the past events and core and people from across the industry now it's really been great.
Speaker 1 00:03:28 And I have to say, if we talked about this for a long time, we had this idea of let's do a podcast. And it was always kind of too much of a scary kind of hurdle of like, I don't really know how that works. It sounds like a lot of effort and how do we do it? And what really kind of pushed me over the edge is when you guys came out with the audience podcast and you know, you really laid out, okay, here are the steps you have to take. Here's what you need to do. This is the equipment you need to stop that much. And then I just said, you know what, let me just stop this recipe and let's do it. Let's get it gone. And I'm really glad we did. And now it's, it's quite simple actually, you know, we really kind of streamline the process.
Speaker 1 00:04:02 So that was also what I think has been really helpful is the fact that there are two of us it's myself and Steven. So that way it's not like I have all the pressure every week of coming up with a new episode. So it's come out weekly, but it's not that I have the pressure of every week coming up with something, we can kind of spread the bourbon across multiple people. And also I think the format is a good one where we have, we have interviews, we have offline community, a lot of people that have interesting stories to tell, but it's not just interviews because I think that somewhere, you kind of get burned out on what is just interviews. You know, they're either fantastic because you're very interested in the topic of the interview or you're, you're not, but I also really quite like the podcasts where you're kind of following the story of the host over time. And so then it was kind of trying to mix those two,
Speaker 0 00:04:47 Curious to hear, because I think everybody does it a little different. You talked about kind of you and Steve spreading the responsibilities or the burden of, of kind of managing the show. Like how do you have that broken out? Like, are each of you responsible for certain things or do you kind of catch up on a weekly basis? Say like this week we need to handle these five things. Let's break that out. Like how does that relationship and kind of assign a worker? Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:05:08 So a key driving principle is how do we make this as easy as possible? Because you know, it's not, we're not getting paid for this. It's not uncommon. It's something we do for fun. I mean, it does benefit us professionally, I would say, but it's not, um, it's not a business in that regard. So how do we keep it as simple as possible? And the simplest solution is we just have Google spreadsheet where we have a list of potential interviewees. You know, as I said, we've been doing our event for about 10 years. So we have a long, long backlog of people that have spoken at the event in the past and have interesting things to say. So we just kind of threw in some of the names, there are people whose talks with kind of good. And then yeah, we just write to them and say, you know, in the beginning we wrote to about 20 people on Sunday, do you want to be able to fuck us?
Speaker 1 00:05:49 And you know, luckily at least some of them said yes. And then we go from there and we just kind of divvy it up based on whoever's more interested in that topic or whatever. There's no real big masters behind it. We have then sometimes there are kind of things that come up kind of like current events, like obviously when the pandemic started a big topic was kind of napping the pandemic and how do we, or, or like, you know, there was this whole discussion of apps that governmental apps or, or apps from Google and Apple that where you could trace your contacts, knowing who had been where and when and stuff. So sometimes we have topics like that that are, that are very relevant for our audience. And we try to seek out experts who might be able to comment on those topics, but we have those people in the network of the event.
Speaker 0 00:06:31 I know like the podcast came out of the event and at some point like the world will return back to normal, like hypothetically kind of like in the fall or something. And you guys will start this event again. How do you see the podcast and the events working together and kind of playing off each other in the future?
Speaker 1 00:06:46 Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, one, the pandemic has changed things and now we still have the event, but we have an online it's not the same, but it does have one big benefit in that people from all over the world can participate and people house. So really our audience has grown quite a lot. So I think going forward, we will obviously still have the event, but maybe we'll do a mix where half the episode has to be events will be offline. So we get all the benefits that when half will be maybe online. And I think that we kind of have the podcasts going in parallel with the event and we'll definitely keep going with it because now that we've, we've built up the momentum, I mean, now we've done 50 episodes in the last year. It really has taken on a life of its own because now people from all over the world or volunteering to be on the podcast.
Speaker 1 00:07:31 So people who would never be able to make it to London for the event or, and so that's quite cool because it really broadens we'll have interesting things so we can talk about. And because we still run the event, people are presenting at the event and that was a steady flow of interesting new people to add to the podcast as well. So they're kind of running parallel with each other and kind of compliment each other, but we'll definitely keep going, particularly because we spent some effort getting it set up, but now it's really quite a streamlined process. And so we've really gotten it down and it's, it's not a lot of work actually. And it does, it's a lot of benefits.
Speaker 0 00:08:07 You said it's taken on kind of a life of its own. Is that in the form of like kind of community engagement and people connecting with you that you wouldn't have connected with otherwise? Or like, what does that look like in, in like reality?
Speaker 1 00:08:18 Exactly. That, I mean, so obviously when that episode comes out, we put it out and then, then we tweet about it or post about it on social media and you can see people engaging with that. So that's great. And then as a result of that, we, as I said, it, wasn't our kind of comment or volunteered speak with us. So yeah, I see it really, it's kind of a, another leg of the stool of our community and we'll keep going with it. So I have to say for me personally, professionally, it's great because now I have anyone in the geo industry worldwide that I want to engage with. You know, I can just write to them and say, Hey, do you want to on the podcast? You know, and I can, you kind of can point them to the 50 episodes and say, you know, your here's the podcast, listen, you know, people who've, you've probably heard I've already been on the block house, you know, would you also like to be on the podcast? And it's a great door opener in that regard.
Speaker 0 00:09:10 Yeah. That's really interesting. Like, do you think that any of those new relationships that you've gotten because of the podcast, maybe that you wouldn't have been able to kind of like engage in otherwise have, have kind of led to unique business opportunities or professional things that, that like are unique because of the podcast?
Speaker 1 00:09:30 Yes. I would definitely say there are relationships that have come about that are under unique now, you know, we're still kind of in this weird, weird world where, you know, we can't travel and we can't. So it's funny because now you have some relationships where it's people you've only ever met online. And so we'll have to see how, how durable those relationships are going forward. But yeah, it's been a great door opener and, um, it gives me a chance to engage with lots of people that I wouldn't otherwise be able to at all, without leaving my spare bedroom here. So the reality of our current situation. So yeah, I, and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot by doing it and I get to engage with all kinds of people. And I think it helps establish myself and Steven, you know, more as kind of industry experts in our field. And I think that can only be a good thing also for my business. So it's exciting.
Speaker 0 00:10:22 You mentioned that it's like the metric you go for is making it as easy as possible to keep going. I think that's huge because like a lot of people get started and they buy like $5,000 for the gear and have all this complicated setup to where like the podcast is like a drag on them, like emotionally and from a work perspective. And I very much take like a minimalist approach to, to the podcast and like add onto that if, uh, if I am able to, or want to, but like, we have a very simple podcast here and try to just make the content, the thing that really shines. But it'd be curious to hear, like, from your perspective, like what that workflow looks like, like from week to week, like what kinds of things do you guys do and then what kind of things do you have either automated or do you have other folks helping you with?
Speaker 1 00:11:04 So first of all, on the equipment side, you know, I listened to your episode about what equipment is needed on a microphone. I think it was, I don't know, maybe a hundred, a hundred Euro or so, so not anything extravagant. So, and then, yeah, I'll be coordinated. We have a Google sheet where we have a list of people that we want to interview right to them. So you look on here, are you interested? Hopefully they say, yes, I send them. I use, um, Savi, Cal, which is a calendaring software where I say, you know, please pick your time that we can talk. And it shows the types of available with that. I also send a link to a Google doc where I explain our whole process for them. You know, how we're going to record. We record typically using zoom. You know, of course I have some questions in there and there's space with them to put in things they want the show notes or whatever.
Speaker 1 00:11:51 Anyway, we recorded the episode. I send it off to an editor and we aim for 30 minute episodes. So send it off to an editor. I should also say, this is an industry. The audience of our podcasts are kind of geo geeks. So people who are into the technology location-based services where, so, so not audience is not expecting, I don't think a highly polished production. So, you know, we have a very brief intro to the podcast, the beginning, then we out the episode at the end, there's an outro. And then we don't have sound effects or anything like that. So it's just typically myself and the guests talking or Steven on the guests talking and it lasts about 30 minutes anyways. So the editor sends it back out for a couple of days. Usually also the episodes are not time sensitive. So, you know, we record three, four weeks in advance and that's also makes our life much easier because there's not any kind of pressure aim to get it out once a week.
Speaker 1 00:12:47 That's kind of the goal and to be kind of consistent as usually Thursday or Friday, I think that was quite important that people kind of build it into their schedule, you know, that they know every week on Thursday episodes come out and then I have their time whenever they listen to it absolutely comes back. I go to costumes, upload the episode and we have our own website. So I then, you know, I'm a very brief template that I use where I just say, here's the guest, maybe two paragraphs of, you know, we talked about the project X that this guy is working on. Here's a link to LinkedIn and Twitter and then the audio and that's it. So then it's on the site. Our main channel of communicating with our community is our Twitter feed. So I tweet about it, hopefully the guests, you know, obviously encourage the guests to, to retweet it and send it off to their own audience. And then once a month we have a newsletter that goes out to our whole community. That's it?
Speaker 0 00:13:44 Yeah. It sounds like a really solid workflow. Uh, the, the one question I had is like the Google doc that you send to, to the guests, is it unique for them or do you send the same one to everybody that has kind of like cookie cutter templatized stuff on it?
Speaker 1 00:13:56 So we start with the one that's cookie cutter and then, um, I make a copy and then I, 80% of it stays the same. And then I add, you know, the questions specific to that guest, the background information is just like, you know, you're sitting here, we're going to be recording using zoom. I kind of explained the flow. I explained the we're going to send it to an editor. So people don't need to worry about if they make a mistake. I mean, one of the thing that is sometimes a challenge is that the people that we're interviewing typically for many of them, it's the first time they've ever been on a podcast. And so they sometimes have worries about, you know, some people are kind of perfectionists and I like, Oh my God, you know, I sound terrible. Or some of my boys, or I, you know, can we do a retake or whatever, you know? So I tried to do some things to try to lower their expectations there and that they don't, they don't need to worry about that sometimes successful sometimes not, but on the little works
Speaker 0 00:14:46 As an aside, I think it's funny too, to be on podcasts that you have a lot before and hear kind of like, you know, see how the sausage is made behind the scenes with how people who sound very polished and professional talk when they're recording versus like what you hear as the final product. I think it's, uh, for me, it's very surprising sometimes to hear how, how the recording process works for some podcasts that you think are, are super polished. And it's cool. I mean, I think it's a big weight to lift off of the guests to say like, Hey, this is, you know, this can be a mess right now. And we'll, we'll, we'll Polish it up before it goes out. So don't worry about it.
Speaker 1 00:15:21 Yeah. So our editor, I do not know how he does it or what he does it, but it's pretty amazing because, you know, when I think about what I actually say versus how it comes out and I actually sound coherent, like I might be an intelligent person. It's pretty amazing. So I don't know. I don't know how he does it, but he does it. So
Speaker 0 00:15:39 That's awesome. Going back to the concept of like a, I'll say like onboarding a guest, like, I really liked the idea of the, of the Google sheet and the calendar software. Yeah. I've, I've heard a lot of good things about savvy Cal. We use a similar kind of thing. The one thing that I have seen just as a, an idea maybe is like, I've seen people build that an information and questionnaire into the calendar software. So like, especially like using Calendly or acuity, you can ask questions and ask guests to like upload a headshot or something like that. If you want to include those things. And like, I feel like some of that is okay. Some of it is then like asking me as the guest on your podcast to do too much work, you know? So I think there's a fine line there of like, okay, I'm not going to give you everything you need to know because like, it's my time. I'm giving you my time to be on your show. You can go do some of the legwork here, but yeah, I like, I like very much the idea of kind of doing that prep work. So that then your, like your writers or whoever's doing your show later, have some of that information. They don't have to go find all of it. So I think it's, it's a nice balance.
Speaker 1 00:16:39 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so I don't have a writer, I'm the writer. So for a lot of those things, we just cut them out in the sense that like, we don't have, you know, I don't make new images for each episode. We have a very, very brief description of the episode. Like literally three sentences. I don't have a long multi-paragraph background or anything like that. Interesting. We, we did learn some things on the way, you know, in the beginning I used transcription software to generate a transcript and it would put that on the website then, because I know there's some people who prefer to read and I know also benefit and stuff. And after about five or six episodes, we have to stop with that because we're discussing very technical things on the show, the transcription software, we'd never get it right. And would make all kinds of weird mistakes. And so it was spending a lot of time either correcting that or not correcting it. And then it would look kind of funny. And then very often the guests would be like, Oh, you know, there's a, there's a mistake on line 37 of the transcript.
Speaker 1 00:17:39 So in the end, the solution, there was just profit to stop it. And I know in his complaint, I don't know. So that would be my main advice to someone starting is like start and have the intention of keeping it simple. And then even as you go, think about how you make it even simpler. And usually this, that this solution is just putting things away. So I don't spend a lot of time and I don't spend any time, you know, don't have signing images for each episode. Definitely. It's a great investment to pay for an editor because I don't, you know, the very beginning I started playing around with trying to edit it myself and was just like, I can't, this is such a bad use of my time. And given I have no background in it and no ability, and this can be such a learning curve, but it's much better to just spend the money to pay someone who knows what they're getting.
Speaker 1 00:18:23 They can do a break complaint and cutting out things like transcripts and really eliminating it like shaving away until we get to the core thing, which is people listen to my show cause they want to, they want to hear what these innovators are doing and what they have to say is kind of nice to have on top. And so we kind of cut it all away. Where did you find your editor? Just a recommendation from a friend who has a show. And I asked him how he did it and he said, Oh, I can recommend this other. And, uh, and that's how we did it. Honestly. I know, I don't know that under particularly well, it's just, I send in audio files and we do that via Dropbox. I just put the files on Dropbox and then, you know, a few days later he punched back the final.
Speaker 0 00:19:06 So you guys are 50 kind of something episodes. And at this point, like, what do you see like the next, you know, year or so of the podcast looking like, like, do you think it's kinda more of the same or like, will it take on different form or as you've learned all this, cause it sounds like you, you really have it dialed in, like, what is the vision like going forward?
Speaker 1 00:19:23 Well, it's simply more of the same in the sense that we really have set ourselves the goal of having one episode a week. I think that makes a big difference. I'm not sure it has to be weekly, but the consistency, right? So the listener knows every week they can depend on your episode or on whatever the regular schedule it is. Maybe it's monthly for someone else's topic, but then they can really kind of plan on it. And as someone who listens to a lot of podcasts myself, there's nothing worse than when all of a sudden episodes don't show up for awhile and you don't quit. So the consistency, and we're definitely going to stick with through the event that we run. We have a steady supply of people who have very interesting projects and that they want to talk about. So it'll be more of the same in that regard.
Speaker 1 00:20:05 But the one thing that I think there'll be a bit different is now that we have gotten the flywheel going, we've got the momentum. I want to try to reach out maybe some bigger names in the industry that, you know, maybe I would have been hesitant to do so in the beginning or I'm based in Europe. So people on the other side of the world in California or whatever. And I think now we have the credibility that we can kind of contact some of these bigger names and say, look, here's what we're doing. Do you want to be on show? So that's kind of my personal target for this year.
Speaker 0 00:20:34 You mentioned before that you viewed the podcast, not as like a business activity, but like a business related hobby, I guess I'm paraphrasing nuts. It's not exactly what you said, but like, I mean, it is for your business, right? And I think a lot of folks listen to this, have a, have a podcast or it's related to, you know, some kind of professional endeavor. It's like a, you know, a hobby, they want to turn into a business or it's for their business directly, or it's their personal brand or something like, do you want this to be like a business asset and something that really kind of drives that part of your life forward?
Speaker 1 00:21:05 Well, I do see it as a business asset in the, of course, so, so the way I handled that as we, we list the business, I was kind of a sponsor of the event, but it's not the only sponsor we have other sponsors as well. And which I think also helps add to the credibility. And, you know, the issue is no one really wants to listen to a podcast or just me every week saying how great my businesses, maybe you'll listen to a few episodes of that, but in the long run, you're going to kind of tune out. So I make people aware of what my business is and why it's relevant. And of course, obviously if they're interested, I'd make it easy for them to get in touch if it's there in the target market for what we do. But beyond that, I kind of keep it, you know, I'm not trying to shove it down people's throat in every episode or anything like that, just cause I think that will burn people out.
Speaker 1 00:21:48 And I think at least in our category, I think that's the long-term successful strategy. People only listen to the podcast if it's interesting and relevant and hopefully it is. And then over time that audience grows. And, but of course, as a listener, then they learn what it is I do. And you know, when the time is right for them to become a customer of the service. So hopefully we're at the very top of the short list because they've learned about us through the parking lot. So, but on the other hand in contacting guests, obviously, as I said, it's a great door opener. So I can, I can contact people and say, Hey, do you want to be on that back to us? And then we know the dialogue and at some point, what do you actually do? And I say, well, here's what we do.
Speaker 1 00:22:27 And by the way, maybe it's relevant for you. And then finally, I guess the third piece of that is I have many customers of my business who are doing very interesting things and you know, if they're truly doing something interesting relevant, it's a great kind of bonus to say, Hey, I'm just really interested in this project you're doing, do you want to come on the podcast and talk about it and share it with a wider audience? And I think some of the customers, so I would only do that if it's actually relevant. I mean, again, if I'm just every week being like, what's your another story from a customer of my business and they can tell you why we're so great. Let's kind of get old quick.
Speaker 0 00:23:02 I really like these, you know, we call them, create our spotlight episodes where, you know, we have customers come on and tell their story about their podcast and kind of how it fits into other stuff they're doing. And I think that they are really interesting to yeah, to kind of highlight, I mean the enormous variety of types of shows that are out there and reasons that people are doing them. And we had a handwriting analyst expert on before. And so it's like, it's like all these, uh, you know, a family that is like backpacking with their kids for a year and stuff like that. Like I think that if someone asks me like the biggest surprise of like what we see in podcasting these days, and it is definitely the, the variety, the enormous variety that we see, you know, as like a hosting platform that sees a bunch of different kinds of podcasts, because I think, you know, you and I both kind of live in this entrepreneurial world of online business and stuff like that.
Speaker 0 00:23:51 And so in that respect, I think we're really myopic to like, these are the things that I'm interested in. These are the podcasts I listen to, but then like that is a minuscule part of the, of the total market. And so I think it's cool to be able to have folks like yourself on the show to share a really different perspective than a lot of other folks have who are just kind of in the, in the podcasting space in general. But yeah, we do try to mix it up and not have that be the only format cause that yeah, it gets old. I think
Speaker 1 00:24:17 It's been a cool journey. And actually, you know, one thing that I hadn't appreciated when we started it, that I now really enjoy about it is, you know, now I have a record and I can go back and listen to the old episodes. And so, you know, sometimes we have these episodes where myself and my coach just kind of talk about our projects or I thought some events that are happening and that's actually, I mean, I suppose like anything like a diary or a blog or whatever, and you'd go back and you look at like what you were thinking at that time, but there's something about the voice aspect of it that makes it so much more personal, you know? So, so we have episodes that, you know, kind of when the pandemic was just starting and you go back and listen and you kind of hear like, Oh, well, you know, how naive was I that, you know, when you're like, all right, this will all be fine or whatever. It's interesting to create that record and that, and it really does get more valuable with each additional episode, you know? So that's one of the things that really motivates me.
Speaker 0 00:25:12 Well, congratulations. I mean, getting to the 50 episodes and sticking with it, you know, weekly or most, almost every week for a year is, is a lot more than most podcasts are, is going to get through with their show. So I think, you know, kudos to you guys for figuring out a system to be able to stick with it because that's like the huge key. And then I think, you know, at this point you're a little like liberated to kind of experiment in different formats and have people on, in different ways and do different things with the show to where like the hard part of, of like really getting the show started and finding a groove is, is over or you're past that point. And now you can kind of focus on the fun stuff. So that's really cool
Speaker 1 00:25:45 To anyone out there listening. Who's who's thinking about taking the plunge. I really recommend it. I mean, the key is find a way to keep it as simple as possible. And luckily, I mean, there are a lot of tools that make it simpler and simpler and just get going. And once you get over that initial hurdle, you know, commit to yourself, you're going to do 10 or 20 episodes in the beginning. You won't see a lot of traction under there is that point at the beginning where you're kind of putting out episodes and you're going, you feel like you're just kind of talking to no one. So you've got to get through that. And for me, one of the best ways to do that was having on my coast. And so that way I'm having an interesting conversation with someone I learned from and enjoy talking with. But then once you break through and you start getting like the first nuggets of feedback and people volunteering to be on the podcast, then all of a sudden it really helps momentum of its own. So it's exciting.
Speaker 0 00:26:36 And thanks for much for being on the show today. I appreciate it. And for folks that want to check out the podcast and kind of what you're up to, where's the, where's the best place to connect there.
Speaker 1 00:26:44 Oh, right. So it's called the geo mob podcasts. Obviously you can search for any podcast player, but we also have a website if you search for geo mom or the website is <inaudible> dot com the podcast right there.
Speaker 2 00:26:56 Awesome. Thanks ed. Have a good day. Thanks.