Leveraging powerful storytelling by using podcasts and how to get started with Daren Lake from Pod Paste

Sep 24, 2021

Storytelling and your brand. How do you do that? So many businesses hear about this story thing but a lot of them don’t understand how important and sticky a good story can be. But how do you tell a good story and why is it so important? Find that out and more on this episode

What’s the best way to initiate storytelling for your brand? Podcasts can be a strong and engaging medium for your business to communicate and entertain your target markets. Listen in with Metigy’s own audio manager, Daren Lake, as he delves into his experience as founder of Pod Paste and provides insight on the podcast industry. 

Daren Lake. Audio content manager of Metigy and founder of Pod Paste

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Daren first got into podcasting
  • The power of story-telling and narratives with your podcast
  • The advantages of starting podcasts 
  • The best way to get your business started with podcasts
  • What locations are best to produce high-quality sound 
  • Spaces and microphones you can start recording with/in
  • How to make a cost-effective,  clean podcast recording
  • How to extract stories out of podcast guests
  • When to jump in to podcast strategy

Links mentioned:

Podcast Gear recommendations:

What business would you build on Mars?

I want to market with anything audio –  in particular, radio podcasting. That’s phase 1. Then transition into music. I would literally duplicate and copy everything the US has done on earth with media… Humans unfortunately will be the same unless we start hacking our biology and our DNA which Elon Musk has a good company called Neurolink – a brain machine interface… 

They’re going to have the same needs and wants and desires and the same psychology so audio will be there and first to market. It’s like the wild west. Like the gold rush in San Francisco. That’s your land! No one can take it from you! My virtual land will be the first radio station on Mars. But there’ll be a five minute lag on Mars. There’ll always be downloaded videos. It won’t be real time.


Reach Daren here:


Transcript (or download the pdf here)

[00:00:00] Daren: Storytelling and your brand, so many businesses hear about this story thing, but a lot of them don’t understand how important and sticky a good story it can actually be. But how do you tell a good story and why is it so important? Find that out and more on this episode of Forward Thinking.

Hey everyone. I’m Daren Lake, the audio content manager here at Metigy. Welcome to Forward Thinking, a podcast by Metigy. In this series, we speak with inspirational business owners, brands, and marketing experts to learn from their experiences on the frontline and uncover what it takes to build a world-class business.

In this episode, the tables get turned and I’m in the passenger seat being interviewed by employee number four and head of content, Brendan Hill. I talk about my challenging journey and starting a podcast focused production company called Pod Paste and what I’ve learned from it that can help your own business.

This was recorded a while back and before I came in as the audio content manager here at Metigy.. So some things might be out of sequential order, a few things that you will learn in this episode: why I started a podcast focused storytelling company, how to start a podcast for your business and why, a few simple tips and tricks to get high quality sound, how to extract stories from your podcast, guests, and much more.

Let’s get into it with Brendan and myself. 

[00:01:27] Brendan: Let’s dive right in Daren. Welcome to the show. 

[00:01:30] Daren: Thank you. Thank you so much. That was a great intro. The prerecorded one and just this one, we were in the studio. I love saying that. 

[00:01:37] Brendan: We’re going to get more meta as well today because you’re going to talk about podcasting, why businesses should start a podcast. I’m really excited to get stuck straight in today, but first of all, how did you get involved with podcasting in the first place? 

[00:01:52] Daren: Oh let’s tell stories because we all love stories. Everyone wants to hear stories. Yeah. So it’s a story about a story.

It’s a really good one. I like it. I think it’s a good one. So I have an audio background, a big audio, mainly music background degree in audio and music tech from good old Susquehanna university in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, Northeast United States. I’m obviously American and I graduated and said, I am going to make money in the music industry.

Ie. Audio that’s how I’m going to make a living a career. I did that and it was awesome. Signed to a label. I got tracks played all around the world. DJ’d in a lot of places, performed a lot of places from a lot of people, got music on TV shows and movies, fun stuff. And Then, I was listening to a podcast.

I remember being, sorry. I was listening to a radio station. It was a it’s called YPR, which is NPR, but I’m in Baltimore. They call it WY your public radio. I loved YPR and again, this is. Post the podcast first boom, the first wave of podcasting and side note I’ll back up. So I remember it was, I was sitting, I moved back to my parents’ house, I did the whole live, my own thing.

And then I was like, oh, this is expensive. I moved back to my parents. I was like, okay, this is really cheap. I can, be a struggling audio musician person. I remember it was just online- it said podcast is the new thing. I was like, pod, that sounds like iPods. Like what? Apple. Then I remember going, oh man, I got to jump on this it’s 2005.

And I was like in 2006 and I remember I remember opening up iTunes and there was a podcast tab somewhere. However, it was set up and I remember going, oh man, I gotta listen to this podcast. What is this? And the first one was a YPR show, a NPR show. I was like, that popped up. I don’t, I just remember being like what RSS feed I knew that was from blogs.

And I was like, what is going on? And then I downloaded and was like, wait, it’s two people talking. I was like, this is Ray. I just downloaded the radio. I remember being so upset and going radio is boring. I have, again, I have a, another degree code degree in communications, broadcasting. I don’t want it.

Radio’s boring. I just wanted to make cool music and tell stories through my music. , if I worked with video and documentaries, so that’s a that’s foreshadowing for the next version of it. So we’re in, I’m in 2008 now and in my car and I remember. Radio show, which I thought was a radio show came on and it was radio lab, which if you listen to podcasts, Radiolab is one of the most highly produced sound design podcasts right now out there, they use a lot of sound as on to tell stories.

And I remember it was about a guy that he couldn’t make a decision. It wasn’t like, oh, no, like he actually, so somehow he got some disease where, and he was fine up until about 40/ 50. He actually would be paralyzed by making a decision. It was to the point where he had to sign a paper.

Like he was some, executive level person and his secretary was like, sign this contract and he’d sit there for three hours because he couldn’t choose between black and blue or he’d go to the supermarket and the cereal aisle and he’d be just overwhelmed. With the choices and the way they designed the anxiety that he had in the voices.

And it said black, blue, black, blue going left, and right. Whoever your editor is, he should actually do that in post production, but it got me and I was in my car and I did what every good pocket. Purposes, you get to your destination and you stay there waiting for the end. I didn’t know that this was available as a podcast.

I didn’t know you could download this. I still don’t know what the name of that episode. I tried to find it, but I was like, if I ever do something like. An audio documentary. I want to do this got me. Fast forward to 2014, 2015, I was working. I was managing the audio department of an advertising agency more of the production of an, a creative agency.

They want to do a podcast. I remember being like, oh yeah, cool cool. Then they do a mock one and I go, this is boring. It was just two people talking about advertising. I was like no. Let’s add some sound design and some cool stuff and field interviews.

And they’re like, do you know how hard that is to do? I was like, can’t be that hard. Then I was like, oh wow. It sounds much harder than it actually is. Which I guess most things always are harder when you actually do them. Then the final product, like looking at a movie, it’s oh yeah, you don’t know that took four years to make the movie and $350 million to make Avengers.

But I actually just in the back of my head, I said, I want to do one of these. I want to do one of these podcasts and the company, whatever happened with them. Then I was like, How about I start producing people’s podcasts, just freelance, like it was the third wave or, the post serial wave of podcasting, which is probably the third wave of podcasting.

This is 2016, 2017… 2017. I was like, I want to start a company, but I want to like freelance and help people make podcasts, but it’s gotta be my type of podcast, like narrative and sound design and all this. Here we are today and it’s really hard. To want to do the style that I want.

So right now I’m recording very standard interview, similar to this podcast, but I’m trying to figure out a way to scale up and make it easier for people to tell audio stories, higher produced audio stories, because I know. The barrier to entry is quite high on this. I know where it is now after doing a couple and I feel like I can hack the system and possibly make it affordable for companies. 

[00:07:23] Brendan: Can you dive deeper into why telling narrative and telling stories for businesses is so powerful. There’s some good precedence out there. Gimlet Media, one of the biggest companies that were just acquired by Spotify for 214 million. 

[00:07:37] Daren: I think it was 230, a quarter billion for a content only podcast company.

[00:07:43] Brendan: You can see the power of it as well. Those guys been talking to you, you’ve told me some of the companies that they’ve done them for, like the Nike’s, the eBays, the slacks, the branded. Yeah, the branded ones, the branded podcasts and the amount of money. How much are these guys spending on audio podcast?

[00:07:58] Daren: There’s whispers I’ve found through, is it Pacific audio is the company may have a blog post. They said the mid hundred thousands. For a six, eight episode package. Yeah. So that’s USD. Anywhere from 400 to 600 USD thousand dollars. Wow. For six episodes. So that pretty much a hundred thousand dollars an episode, which if you listen to the credits, there’s 15 people involved. 

I’d say half of that price, if not more, is to get into the Gimlet network, which, it’s like being on HBO. Like you can have an awesome, film, but if no one sees it, HBO is not there to push it. Then you have to do all the marketing. So you, I don’t know how much it costs to get onto HBO, but Alex Blumberg who’s the CEO of Gimlet has said he wanted it to be the HBO of podcasting.

So it does make sense that they’re gonna charge this premium amount and this stuff is good. 

[00:08:47] Brendan: But I guess for businesses just starting out, they might not be able to have the resources or afford to do the big story arcs the big storytelling. What about traditional and podcasting? I guess it’s a good way, but what are some of the advantages for early stage businesses to start a podcast?

[00:09:05] Daren: The advantages definitely. Everyone’s oh, you should start a podcast. They’re simple. They’re easy. I hate to say affordable. I’ve already said that actually. I hate to say it again. They require less. Let’s say resources is the word. They require less resources and whatever you want to insert as your resource should usually money.

They require less resources than video to tell a story. What’s cool is our glass is, I love this quote. He says, audio is such a visual medium. With video, you’re already putting people in that scene. Like your imagination can’t really run very wild, watching a movie because everything’s there the sound, the video, the person speaking.

But with the audio, if you set the scene correctly, whether someone’s telling a story via just their voice, you don’t have to have a lot of production. It does become very visual. The Tim Ferris, whenever he has guests on, they get to tell a story. The Tim Ferriss show, whatever podcast, I think that’s his name.

They tell stories and you’re there you’re transported there. Terry crews was probably one of his strongest podcast episodes, Terry crews. Yeah. He’s a big black guy. He was on the the old spice commercials. He’s in a white girls movie. Do you remember? Yeah. Yeah. He’s like really funny, but he’s like a big burly black guy and he’s just like the soft Teddy bear.

The best episode when I finally figured out why. It was because Terry crews was constantly telling stories and then its story, and this is the secret sauce to all the narrative podcasts it’s story slash anecdote explanation. So if you go to church, I’m not condoning or condemning any religion, but if you go to.

The pastor or whoever it is, they tell a story from whatever book you read, and then they explain that and how that applies to your life. It’s human psychology, it’s human nature. That’s how it always is. It’s really easy to relate to and stories again, they transport you to that place. So back to your original question, the story.

It allows you to connect with your audience in such a strong way in the audio. Again, the audio medium, every, if you’re a marketing person you’re listening, I know, this, everyone knows this stories are, the best thing, blah, blah, blah. But the reason why podcasts are so strong is because, it’s passive obviously, and you can listen anywhere.

Outside of when you’re having a conversation with someone, but you can listen and do so many other things and still be transported to that place. Walking on the train, commuting, whatever it is working out, running, and then it sets the scene for you to then the listener, you as the listener to then be at that place and to feel what that person feels in your own way.

And that’s very, it’s like reading a book, like that character that you’ve read. You only have that vision in your head and then someone reads it and it will be totally different. Yeah. 

[00:11:48] Brendan: It’s interesting as well. We did a bit of research. I said, we’re going to get metal and we’re going to talk about a bit of the metallurgy results from the podcast so far.

So we did do a bit of research when we first identified podcasting as a good channel. We’ve used it for, acquisition, you’re getting an awareness, getting people in at the top of our funnel. We’ve used it for retention. So we have a large user base already and they enjoy the stories.

They enjoy the lessons from the different business leaders that we have on. We get the transcript as well. That’s the thing about podcasting that you mentioned, you can consume it anywhere, walking gym. We provide the text as well. It’s a good way to meet. Interesting new people like yourself.

And everyone wants to come on a podcast to me. A lot of people have been on this podcast- they’re fairly successful. It’s the first podcast they’ve been on so I guess there’s that novelty factor as well. You’ve produced on hundreds of podcasts. Is this the first podcast that you’ve been on the other side of the microphone?

[00:12:46] Daren: I have my own, I had two podcasts at one point and now I have one and I’ve been on those, but as I was telling you, before we start. It’s scripted. Like I know what I’m going to say and where I’m going to be. Even though I am the host, like I haven’t been flipped in the the passenger seat, so this is the first time I’ve actually been, on someone show it’s would you do it? Cause I said, okay, let’s use my microphone. It’s okay, we’re going to set it up like this and I’ll just do this. I’m like if I’m going to be on it, it’s gotta be high quality because I produce podcasts.

So I can’t be promoting a podcast that, the quality brand it is. It’s I tell people it’s like a graphic designer or a web designer that has a bad website, like all my podcasts that I do, my personal ones have to sound good because it’s oh, that’s your pocket? Put you a podcast.

Production happened. How’s your podcast sound average. It needs to sound great. 

[00:13:37] Brendan: But I mean talking about equipment, that’s a really good point. A lot of people have GIF here. They don’t know what to purchase. When the fear of failure, they didn’t know what to purchase. Never had gear fear? 

[00:13:47] Daren: I’m a gear guy and I’ve never heard gear fear! I’ve heard of paralysis analysis. Oh wow! 

[00:13:51] Brendan: A bit of gear fear, they don’t know what to purchase. Today, we’re very fortunate to have, I guess the Tesla of podcast studio setups here with your fantastic professional equipment. 

[00:14:01] Daren: Man, you are full of compliments. Thank you. 

[00:14:04] Brendan: But for people just starting out, early businesses might be interested in dipping their toe in the water. What’s the best way to get started? Where should they record and how do they get it live on the internet? 

[00:14:15] Daren: All right. I’ve actually got a blog post that should be going live some point about gear and microphones in particular. I really want to stress this because if you will, if you see so many podcasts websites and so many new podcasts, it’s like, what microphone should I get?

Oh man, blah, blah. It’s like cameras. Your camera sucks if you don’t have good lighting’s everything with microphones and audio, your room that you’re recording in is everything. Like the microphone I’ve recorded with $50 handheld microphones, like stage mics. Like 50, literally $50. They might’ve been $40.

Yeah. They sounded better because of the way they actually work. A thousand dollar microphone, $2,000 microphone in the room. Wow. So the room is huge and I’m back to the room. Make sure your room is padded. As in like it doesn’t have echo. So make sure it’s dense there’s furniture everywhere. There’s a carpet there’s drapes possibly make sure it’s a small.

Large rooms usually have a lot of echo glasses, the worst marbles, the worst hardwood, polished floors come a close third, stay away from all those types of things. If you can get the two people into a closet of sorts, great. Don’t do it in your office conference glass room with a porcelain table. That’s the worst thing you could do.

So as far as microphone goes, It’s really diminishing returns, I’d say around the, the a $250 mic. That’s great. The road pro caster. I’m not, endorsed by road, but it’s a great mic at rivals a seven, $800 ones. There’s a, not to get all geary, but there’s the two big ones, the shore one, and the Electro-Voice that are high end that you see in every radio station or the big podcast is Joe Rogan uses.

SM70. I have to tell you that and no one cares, but those, the road procaster is definitely up there. Then the one below that is the road pod mic, which is the one that you usually use. We’re using the pro casters right now, but they only really sound really good and they shine in a great sounding space.

And then from there record into a clean device, make sure your laptop’s not spinning up and making all crazy noises again, stay away from windows and all those things that make. Couriers knocking on your door, drilling outside all that type of stuff. You can get a really clean recording for very little money.

If you think about the space, but to my own horn and promote my own business. If you’re in Sydney, I’ve got a beautiful podcast production recording studio that I use that is dead side. In the middle of the CBD. So if you don’t want to deal with making a space, which is hard, there’s some portable booths out there.

Pitch makes one pitch acoustics that actually are based in Australia. They make like a concrete sound booth thing. So concrete is actually the material you want. Then you pad the concrete cause no sound goes in. No sound goes out. Sound proofing actually means that sound can’t go in or out. That’s really technical jargon.

I’ll bring that back to more top level type stuff, but your room, you can use a $50 mic. You can use an iPhone smartphone wired. What are these? A headset microphone and being a great sounding room. You can actually get a really good recording versus being on a $2,000 mic in a terrible.

[00:17:25] Brendan: That’s a very good tips and we’ll put all of Daren’s resources is going to be a lot today in the show notes, you guys can find out. Dot com forward slash podcast. You also have a good podcast book that you recommended to me. What was that called again? 

[00:17:41] Daren: It’s called out on the wire by Jessica Abel.

It might be seeing her in Rome and the forward was by IRA glass in that, which is this American life NPR. He’s one of the first ones to do the narrative podcasting. It’s actually about narrative podcasting. So there’s a bunch of books. It’s a bunch of websites on how to start a podcast. I’m not a, I can’t say I don’t want to swear, but I’m not teeing on them, but those websites there they’re everywhere.

And if you want to learn to start a podcast, please go to them. That’s great. But again, what I’m trying to do is a bit more. It’s a bit ambitious. So I had to figure out the secret sauce and the dark magic behind narrative podcasting. This book just gives all the secrets away in a very beautiful comic format.

Alex Blumberg from good game. Listen, there it goes written in 2009. So he was on planet money and he was talking about that from planet money, obviously planet money people in there. I think it was Robert. Oh, I forgot his name. One of the guys from planet. You got a Roman Mars from 99% invisible, all the narrative podcast guys, there’s a snap judgment.

And there was one other big one radio labs in there. It was written pre serial. So obviously they didn’t get cereal people in there, but yeah, it’s amazing. Because it talks about the story and they literally go 70% into the book before they actually start talking about sound. Wow. Then they’re like, we, I know it feels like sound isn’t as important to the story.

And then they basically say, but the story is way more important than the sound. Because again, you can have someone on an audio. Tell a story. If they knew how to tell it correctly with no sound design, it can be just as compelling as someone that doesn’t tell a story with all the sound design in the world, and it can be more compelling.

So the story, it’s, to me, it’s like an acoustic track that’s own piano only, or acoustic guitar. If it moves you, then it’s going to sound amazing produced as a big pop tracking a billion dollar studio, sorry, a million dollar studio. So the story is the essential heart and foundation and guts of any narrative podcasts.

[00:19:38] Brendan: So when you start working with the business, how do you extract that story from them? We’ve had people on the podcast, branding, experts, presentation experts, everyone talks about the story, how important it is. I just read a stat the other day about Pixar. They spend 80% of their time just working on the story, just on the script.

Not rendering that animation and all the other time consuming bits. How do we get the story from our business, or how do you do it at Pod Paste?

[00:20:03] Daren: W hen I first speak with companies, they usually have, I’m a pretty transparent guy for better or worse, they usually have more editorial, creative control than I would personally like. They really just want me to be a technical producer. And again, technical is just the gear and making it sound good. The mixing, the mastering audio editing, as they say all that type of stuff, scheduling production, like legit technical production is where I see most people needing my services.

And then they’re like, oh, we got the guests, we’ve got the topics and all that I do come in and I do help them with that. Sometimes it can be. An extra add on service. Sometimes it’s a part of it just because I’m so deep into it. I go, Hey, maybe try that, try this. But the clients that I do work with that really let me in, I’ve found that to be a much better final product, because I have done podcasts, much more than this company.

So yeah, they might, they might have a whole comms PR. That handles all that, but me coming in and just tweaking one thing and going this actually works better for podcast is usually the best. So coming in really early and finding out from beginning to end, not just, oh, what do you want to do every week?

They turn up and they tell me what the topic is about. Or they don’t even tell me they just start recording. That’s not the greatest thing to do with Producer like me that actually has creative and technical skillset and creative and technical service that I love to give that I have available for clients and businesses.

[00:21:29] Brendan: Interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about your solution that you going to build for narrative podcasts? 

[00:21:35] Daren: Yeah. It’s a bit ambitious and I love telling people my ideas to get the reactions, to see if people go that’s stupid, man. Or if people go “Ooh” and again, as Derek Sivers says, what is it a great ideas worth $20 in average ideas or 10 in a bad idea is worth one.

Because if that’s the left side of the list, and if you go to writes out and execute. You execute a bad idea. That’s a few million like creating a leaf blowing company. Yeah. That’s a best, not a bad idea. It’s pretty average idea. So let’s say it’s a $10 idea. You turn that into a $10 million business because you execute it and then, executing a great idea.

That’s billions of dollars. So the execution is where the actual value is in things. I’m very open to give you my $20. I think it’s a $20 idea. It’s what I said earlier in the podcast. It was in this episode, it’s to scale in an economical and way that makes sense for businesses, the narrative podcast format.

And I think it’s there and I’m trialing a lot of things and it will be. Very much like the canvas lash, Squarespace of podcasts, narrative podcasting, where it’s like these pre-made templates. I’m probably going to start with an AB in the beginning one to either, or if you want to go outside of that, you’re probably gonna have to pay premium rates just because of the way the system is, but it’s, just moving blocks around and trying to get that story told.

I think there’s a possibility of. Obviously, I have a lot of hurdles to jump a lot of challenges with that, but yeah, that is my idea. What do you think of that? 

[00:23:10] Brendan: I love it. No, I think there’s definitely an episode. Yeah. We’re in the, I guess the beginnings of the golden age of narrative driven podcasts as well.

Yeah. So talking about narrative driven podcasts, so you’ve talked about Roman Mars at 99% invisible. One of my favorites. So you’ve talked about Alex Bloomberg and all the Gimlet series. What other sources of inspiration can have business owners listen to? Cause, I was a big podcast fan before.

We started the Metigy podcast and, learnt so much from all of these guys, the Tim Ferris podcast as well. What are some of your other favorites besides Radiolab? That you’ve also mentioned? 

[00:23:47] Daren: Radiolab is up there. Masters of scale. Yeah. All masters of scale is so good. I love Reed and I love his team.

I think it’s a wait one. Which is reads company podcast production company. It was started, it was read. The woman that produced all the Ted series, she actually started Ted. And then she moved away from. She was one of the women I could be wrong. Please fact, check me on that. I hear you coming over me.

He’ll be like, Daren is actually wrong. This is what happened with the woman, but it’s really cool. Massive scale. Reid Hoffman. He’s overly dramatic in a good way and it works. It could’ve worked poorly, but I’d had, I like their sound design cause it’s what does it spot? It’s really cheesy and direct, and I’m a very cheesy and direct person.

So it’s someone’s running and it’s a cartoon sound of someone running, like the airplane flew over me. There’s an airplane sound. I’m like, yes, because I really feel like with podcasting and this is, I’ve been saying this for a while. Podcasting now in 2019 is where television was in 1950. It’s flat.

It’s a flat screen or the bubble, it’s a box. It’s a two 40 by two 40 pixel box. It’s black and white and a little bit of gray monochromatic. It’s just horrendous right now. As far as the audio soundscape and your ears in the 360 plane of your ears. Whatever the stereo spectrum is it’s technically not 360, you can do things really close up left right far away.

There’s so much that people can do with storytelling and it starting to happen on YouTube. It started to happen on Instagram or it already has happened where there’s these YouTubers that are telling these beautiful stories and they have great production behind them. Whereas 10 years ago, they didn’t do that.

It would just be them sitting in front of the camera talking. Now they’re actually doing these cutaways to either their. Field stock footage that they’ve made, or they’re getting it from other places. It’s really telling these beautiful stories. Matt D’vela. Matt D apostrophe V E L A I think is how you spell it.

Go to his YouTube. There are these basically self-help, it’s basically Tim Ferris self-help type stuff. , but it’s like these five to 10 minute videos that are so beautifully shot the color, the cinematography behind it, the music. It’s like that it’s so much stronger than him just sitting in. With his iPhone going, Hey guys, like you want to learn about finances.

Yeah. This is how you manage your personal finances. This is how you manage anxiety. Like it’s all about that type of stuff. So the spot on type production, I think works really well. So back to I digress from that back to masters of scale is one, two is obviously Tim Ferriss, but two would be.

Song Exploder. So the musician in me comes out. I haven’t heard of this one. Oh man. It’s the, one of the most beautiful podcasts that I, and it’s not great for business. It really does nothing for business. If you want another business podcast, I’m how I built. This is another one. That’s actually a half, half narrative.

I liked the production on that. I think it’s NPR, I’m guy Raz. You might love or hate him. But I’m pretty sure if you listened to this podcast, you might know about how I built this. There’s not actually not too many in the space of narrative, business podcasts, which which is cool. This is my podcast master of some of my personal one and that’s master of SME and it’s play on Jack of all trades master of you get it.

And it’s a health and fitness podcast. You become the most essential human being that you can be. So it uses health and fitness stories and metaphors to help you in your life, career, relationship, art, whatever because I’m constantly between. Three states of, fitness, health person. Obviously I live life career.

I have a partner, I have a child, and then there’s the artist in me. So I’m constantly going between the three. I’m always trying to find where the thread intersects between them and tell stories. This next season is actually going to be mostly narrative moving forward in 2020. I’ve played around with some hybrid half narrative.

Standard interview conversation and really in your call, it enhanced podcasts. I’ve been playing around with that with some clients and that’s been working pretty well, like producing the interview of sorts, like having like stops and transitions and all that. That’s been really cool. So if you want to listen to that’s in master of some but yeah, song Exploder, just the side, fun one spelled all the norm way, the normal way.

So beautiful. So basically what it does is it takes one song from an old. Through their mouth. It’s a narrative podcast, but through their mouth with no host, wow, no narrator, it tells the story of how they made the song. Because it’s audio, it’s the perfect medium for you to break down a song. So it’s cool.

They just had Robin on there about her latest song and it’s yeah, the baseline part. They have just the baseline track playing as she’s talking about it. Do you understand. Organic and beautiful. That is, it’s just like they did it. They talk about the transition from just an idea and they leave and you hear the demo, you hear the raw demo of them in their garage or their studio their basement or the iPhone sometimes.

And then you hear how it goes through all these processes. Then the end result in the studio and you hear the producers talking about it, and then the drummer talks about it. Then at the end they go, they play the song and it’s this fucking. Resolution to the tension and it’s tight 15, 20 minutes, and they’re just so damn good.

And if you go in there, you’ll probably see he has all genres. You’ll see, maybe one of your favorite artists in there and you’ll find out how they made this song. It’s awesome. I’m trying to find out a way how to do that for business and fitness, because. If I can do something similar to that, I feel like that they’ve got a winner in that formula.

There is such an organic, natural sounding great podcast. Again, the guest is telling the story, which is quite hard to do the editing on that is quite hard. Because you have to know exactly what questions and they have to answer them a certain way. Then when you go in and edit it. So it sounds, again, it sounds way easier than it is.

[00:29:32] Brendan: Definitely going to check that one out- Song Exploder. Very exciting. So you said before that, comparing podcasts to television, where somewhere in the 1950s, there’s still a long way to go. Early stage businesses wanting to start out. Is that an advantage because it’s a bit of a niche at the moment it’s easier to be found then, YouTube, for example, where there’s so much content.

I’ve got a few statistics here, podcast statistics that I wanted to go over. The one that really stood out 75% of podcast listeners took action on a sponsored message, which I think is huge. Brands have been built from podcast ads like Casper mattresses being Squarespace. You may have MailChimp.

Yeah! You always hear the same sort of cluster of advertisers on each podcast, but is it a medium that you think could work well for any type of business? Is the timing right? For anyone to jump in? 

[00:30:31] Daren: Think you need to have your- because podcasting- this is going to get meta on meta again, there is a marketing… You need to be suave with the marketing for podcasting, which is very difficult. It’s not like YouTube. It’s not like Instagram because the podcasting ecosystem. I don’t mean to harp on apple because thank you for coming up with the podcast. Structure that we have, but it also is based in the early two thousands technology and it is much different and everything had to be based off of that moving forward.

Brand new podcast technology is still based on the old ways. It’s a very linear approach versus being, wide and being able to do things, multithread, I guess is the only analogy I can think. The hardest thing is to get people, to listen to a podcast because actually most people more than I, I don’t have the exact stat, but I think.

The uphill battle is that most people haven’t listened to a podcast ever. They don’t know how to, I’ve got a great article. I’ll have you link that explains. We need to educate people on how to listen to podcasts first. No one knew how to Netflix. As I say that in a verb, no one knew how to Netflix until Netflix out on really great shows.

And then people figured it out. Cause they wanted to watch the damn shows. So podcasting needs to get really high quality content. People already there. So everyone’s oh, podcasting, it’s come and go come and gone. Because the waves have happened. The podcast, bubbles burst, that’s not true because most people still don’t know how to podcasts.

Like they do YouTube. Hey, I got a new YouTube video. You click the link and you listen to it. A lot of the social networks, a lot of the way email works a lot of the way. Just you can’t actually have a podcast episode embedded in any social media platform. That’s. Terrible. You can have your video embedded or a minute of your video, or IGTV up to an hour or something, 10 minutes, whatever it is, depending on your account.

If you’re a photographer, you want to show off your photos or artists, you go direct to consumer with podcasting. There’s three, if not four steps. Then you also can’t control your. Your fans, your listeners, you don’t have full control over them. So there’s all these hurdles you need to start thinking about when starting your podcast journey.

So there’s two types of businesses. There’s one, there’s a business that already has fans and listeners or whatever they are, customers, clients that already on whatever platform you too. Instagram, whatever. The podcast ends up being you just repurpose of sorts, or it’s just an add on some of the value.

Now, the cool thing that you have. So you can direct all those people and 10% rule, five, 10%, they go from, your Instagram, and then they go over to podcasts and then you get other people that listen to podcasts. Listen. Cool. You actually probably win the game cause you already have these.

People that will go, oh, cool. We got a podcast. I like what you’re doing. Perfect example, comedy central. You know what their shows where they just repurpose a lot of media companies that repurposed in the media in different ways. Now, if you’re just a business starting out, you don’t have any type of fans, listeners, viewers, whatever it is, followers, whatever it is that you need, podcasting does present another challenge.

Because if you make it, they won’t listen. Like it’s hard for them to listen to because of the way the podcast ecosystem is and not to sound all dreary on podcasting, but it’s true. The listening numbers are very low compared to, a YouTube or. Posts. If you post and you get a million views on a video in a few weeks, podcasting, probably going to be 10% of that, like in the beginning, at least like just that’s the blanket.

You could be, Joe Rogan, whatever. You could be an outlier and you could smash it, but get ready for there to be. A bit of a challenge to get people, to listen to your podcast. Now again, that does require marketing savviness and inability to figure out how to get people to listen, because they’re not listening.

You have to get people to do something they don’t want to do, eat green apples. That’s an inside joke. 

[00:34:24] Brendan: Speaking of acquiring customers, acquiring people. I wanted to dig a bit deeper on podcasts. So your company at the moment. What’s one area that you wish you were more of an expert in business right now for the Pod Paste and getting more customers. 

[00:34:38] Daren: Great question. Practical sales and business development without paying clients. There is no business just at the end of the day. I have ideas like I was talking about earlier for cool features, products and companies, but without an actual want for it, which you don’t know until you’ve put it out there in the market, and paying people that want it then it’s pointless. 

So I have to sell that’s. The biggest thing is sales and business development, which I’m decent at. I can figure out where the problem is and give you a solution and you’re not gonna talk to people. I don’t mind. I don’t mind the hard sell and doing all that. The cold calls every now and then.

Yeah, the fun theoretical answer is I wish I was more of an expert in psychology and in particular NLP neuro-linguistic programming. What makes people say and think the things that they do and what makes them tick and I’m Tim Urban, wait but why? He’s a beautiful author. He’s an awesome, just the way he writes is funny and entertaining and informing and everything.

And it needs to be, as far as writing goes, He’s helping me understand humans without getting a degree in psychology. Yeah, that’s something I’m definitely, those are two areas that I am either working with someone on or you’re working on. 

[00:35:53] Brendan: Interesting. Speaking of tools, we’ve talked about a lot of resources and tools today, focusing on your business though. Are there any tools under a hundred dollars that have made a significant impact for Pod Paste? 

[00:36:04] Daren: A really good tool that I was pretty excited about. It’s about 10 to $12, actually. It’s a bit more than that because it’s almost USD. Then you convert over to AUD is an online publishing tool. I don’t want to say the company’s name, cause I don’t want it to be a competitive Metigy.

I know Metigy doesn’t – they’re not just an online publishing tool. Yeah. But with my own fitness and health podcast and my fitness brand, because I am a master of some. I try to do a lot of different things for better or for worse. I used to hate going oh, today’s the day I have to post a, what do I have to post?

And this is a marketing, this is a marketing 101 right now. I had learned to become a publisher and I didn’t know what that was. Then I realized, having your content beforehand, sitting down and. Few months worth. That’s how I’m, I’m about I try to be a few weeks with that podcast, with my own stuff.

I try to be a few months, but yeah, I love that publishing tool because I just wake up and I go, oh, there it is. Okay. Yeah. Let me comment on a couple of dollars. That’s so nice. Cause I would sit there for 20, 30 minutes trying to come up with something. It was so stressful. Like it’s like writing a book, go on the spot.

Like I’m not, I’m not a freestyle rapper where I could come up with super witty stuff on the spot or, whose line is it anyway. And improv, like I’m not, I’m terrible in improv though. I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled in this conversation. Whoever edited is genius. 

[00:37:19] Brendan: Moving on from tools to investments now. Any investments that you’ve made in your business that have been really beneficial? It could be a cause could be some kind of campaign that you’ve done in the past. 

[00:37:32] Daren: Definitely hiring someone. I know this isn’t an actual, but I invested in hiring someone. The reason for that is, again, I’m transparent.

I love working with people that are smarter than me. It helps me learn so much, like standing on the shoulders of giants is real. And I’m okay. I always give credit where credit’s due, so I don’t take it as mine. I quote someone, I always put, I always started tagging them and quote them.

Like I would say this person’s idea. They really helped me. I come from a DIY freelance contract consultant background, so I know how to do a lot of things. I realized trying to start this business, that I couldn’t do it all on my own. There’s not that many hours in the day. Also just my sanity and just having space for creative clarity to solve big problems is huge.

If I’m constantly under the hammer and I’m operating at 60%, I’m going to lose someone somewhere along the way. I’m going to piss someone off. Yeah, it was definitely hiring someone. I know that’s not the investment tool that you wanted. I’d say investing in high quality gear that doesn’t break.

If you want a practical question, the Zoom H6. I’m not sponsored by Zoom, but man, the Zoom H6 is amazing in so many ways. It’s a podcast recording a piece of equipment. It’s basically a recorder we use as well. We have two of them in here right now for a reason they have yet to fail on me. I’ve done this many times. 

[00:38:58] Brendan: Very solid piece of tech so Daren, thank you so much for coming in today. I’ve learnt a lot, like always. Like our regular conversations. I’m just sitting here listening, absorbing all of this knowledge that I’m going to take away and action straight away. So all of Daren’s resources that he’s mentioned and you guys can find out at Metigy.com/podcast.

But before I let you go today, there’s one final question that we like to ask all of our guests. So are you ready for launch? Yes, because you’re on the first flight to Mars with Elon Musk and the first settlers of both the space X star ship rocket. So what business do you stop when you land on Mars and how would you market it to the new machines?

[00:39:42] Daren: I’m going to pick that apart. Because I don’t think Elon would be on the first one but for the sake of this story I’m a big Ilan fan and I definitely want to go to Mars. So this is a great question. I want to be the first to move. With anything audio and in particular radio podcasting in the beginning that’s phase one, right?

Obviously then transition of music. I would literally just duplicate and copy everything the U S has done on earth with media because the media industry first started. Only what 67 years ago, like proper, let’s say mid the forties and fifties is when media started becoming an actual thing.

I know there were operas, back in Shakespeare times and plays and all that. But I guess recorded medium media as a medium humans, fortunately slash unfortunately will be the same. Unless we start hacking our biology and our DNA, which Elon Musk has got a company called Neuralink, or I think they changed the name of the name, but it’s a brain machine interface, you know about this.

Yeah. I’m really excited about that. I want to be a second stage on that first person. They might die. But yeah, so people, humans are going to be the same humans on Mars as they are here, like 50,000 years ago. Humans are the same as now. So they’re going to have the same needs and wants and desires and the same psychology.

So audio will definitely be there. First to market, obviously it’s gonna be huge. Actually the biggest thing. Then it’s like the wild west. It’s like the gold rush in San Francisco. You’re the first one there. That’s your land. No one can take that from you. My, my virtual land will be the first radio station or the first, whatever on Mars, I guess you can listen to pod because the internet, but they’ll, there’ll be a five minute delay with the internet.

Yeah. So I guess yo would always be like downloaded videos and stuff. It wouldn’t be real time. So yeah, that, that is the long-winded answer. 

[00:41:29] Brendan: Any name for this media conglomerate? 

[00:41:32] Daren: I’d probably, ah, I hate naming stuff. “Pod Paste Media”. 

[00:41:36] Brendan: The Mars chapter. Thanks, Daren. Thank you so much for coming in today. Is there anything you’d like to say before we go and how can people find out more about podcast? 

[00:41:47] Daren: The best places, Podpaste.com. Just that’s it not dot au. Hit me on the socials, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Those are cool places. Standard chat, email me, Daren@podpaste.com. That’s always a nice one. It’s D A R E N one R and E.

The biggest thing I would love to tell everyone if I had a billboard, this is a Tim Ferris answer to one of his questions is make good, high quality audio work, whether the conversation is a good one. Think about your questions. If you’re going to get into podcasting beforehand, a lot of people that start podcasts say, oh, I’ve, we’ve got good chat.

Me and my friend have good chat, good person, a good banter. We should start a podcast. Ah, stop listening to morning radio shows like you think they’re just talking about crap is going to actually mean that you’re good. Yeah, that works, but it usually works for celebrities because the celebrities are interesting.

So I’m pretty sure, most people have marketing businesses and your business is interesting. So whatever niche you want to be at make sure your, just the quality is good. Whether it’s the actual audio quality or it’s the storytelling or both, don’t take the shortcut. Don’t DIY it, don’t put the iPhone in the middle of the table and.

Edit your audio on your phone and then put it up. I, people might disagree with me. I’m I like taking strong opinions and holding, just strong beliefs and I’m cool with someone being like but my friend did the podcast. So this company does a podcast and they pay no money and blah, blah, blah.

So I just, it’s the core foundation of the ethos of my company and how I think is just audio always gets the short stick in me. Everyone’s whatever about audio. Literally just had a conversation about that with the company and the whole experience is based around audio for them and they just don’t care about it.

Wow. I’m like, that’s a shame. I’m fighting the uphill battle and it’s cool. 

[00:43:35] Brendan: I love your strong opinions as well. I often bring things I found online to Daren and he shoots them down straight away with some great rationale, some great lessons as well. 

So you got to thank you for your ongoing mentorship and help with the podcast. And thank you so much for coming in. It’s been fun. Might have to get you on for a round two in the future. 

[00:43:53] Daren: Yes, that’d be great. Thank you for having me. See you guys later. Oh, hear you later. 

[00:43:58] Brendan: Thanks Daren.

[00:44:02] Daren: From Metigy, you’ve just listened to Forward Thinking. Again, I’m Daren and Metigy hopes we helped you find more insights and tips into your business to find out more about Metigy and get a listener exclusive three-month free trial. Visit us at Metigy.com/podcast. While you’re there, go and check out some more episodes.

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