What do I need to launch a podcast? I asked this question a lot as I assembled equipment for Medic Mindset.
A year later, I get asked the same question. I created this kit link to direct people to the equipment I use. But my set-up is just one way to do it. There are different tech needs and budgets. I usually travel to a location that makes my guests comfortable (like their home) so I needed a mobile set-up. For someone building a home studio, my set-up isn’t optimal.
I polled some of my EMS podcasting friends and here’s what they said about their set-up and format. If you are thinking of creating an EMS Podcast, there are 8 different configurations to pick from. Some are solo-casts from a studio and others take their show on their road to conferences. There are excellent tips here from some podcasters who have been doing this for many episodes and years.
Austin Travis County EMS Office of the Medical Director Podcast
Creator: Jason Pickett, MD, Deputy Medical Director
Format: case studies, solo-podcast, interviews
Hardware: Microphones: Blue Yeti
Software: GarageBand, Call recorder for FaceTime
Publishing: WordPress and Feedburner
Tips: Take the Netflix approach and upload your first 4 podcasts at once. Then people who are interested can listen and keep that interest. Harder to judge from only one.
Creator: Chip Lange
Format: Mix of guest interviews, round table, case studies, solo-podcast
Tips: It takes time to build a strong podcast. It’s a waiting game and early high quality is a key. Don’t publish the first thing you record. Get practice first!
Creator: Ginger Locke
Format: guest interviews, case-studies, and recorded lectures
Hardware: Microphone: Shure SM-58 for interviews, Audio-Technica ATR-2100 for intros and microsodes; Recorder: Zoom H4N
1. Salim Razaie from R.E.B.E.L EM said his podcast took off around year 3. With this in mind, I focus on using a workflow that allows me to run the marathon rather than a sprint.
2. Audio Quality matters… and so does content. Most people listen to podcasts while driving or doing dishes so the audio should be good, but it doesn’t have to be pristine. Get the tech piece “good enough” and then pour your energy into the content. Perfection can become the enemy of progress.
3. Support other EMS podcasters. A rising tide lifts all boats.
FlightBridgeED Podcast and Second Shift Podcast
Creators: The FlightBridgeED Podcast – Eric Bauer; The Second Shift Podcast – Mike Verkest; Post Production & Artwork: Evan Claunch
Format: guest interviews, round table, case studies, solo-podcast
Hardware Studio Microphone: SHURE SM7B Dynamic, Traveling Microphone: Rode Procaster Dynamic; Recorder: ZOOM H6; Mixer: Xenyx802, PreAmp: Golden Age Project Pre S73
Software: LogicPro, Google Hangout
Publishing: No host. We hand code each podcasts RSS feed
1. Be consistent with content. If you say you’ll put out a podcast weekly, standby that. If it’s bi-weekly do the same. Don’t over commit.
2. Audio quality is key. That’s why I’ve upgraded to the Best Microphone on the market. The Shure SM7B is a vocal Microphone used by the likes of Michael Jackson and recording studios throughout radio and the music industry.
3. Humility is key.
4. Understand your listeners. Listen to what they want. It may be completely different than what you think. Be objective and ever changing.
5. Be careful with pushing to hard for subscribers. It’s good to remind, but being over pushy will push people away. If the content is good, then subscribers will come. Reviews are the same. We see 10,000 downloads now per episode and still see 1% on reviews. People are just funny that way.
6. Growth on your podcast takes time. We didn’t see those numbers out of the gate. Consistency is key. Consistent growth is what you want. Between years 3-5 is the period we saw the huge growth. That growth period corresponds with the standard business growth cycles.
7. Make the podcast feel unscripted. That will make it more engaging.
8. Know your content. People will know this immediately. If you misspeak, or make a mistake.. own it and be humble. Correct it and make it known. Your listeners will immediately respect you for that response.
8. Understand the commitment. I can’t stress that enough. A lot goes into each podcast. That’s where overcommitment is bad. If you want an audience that will stay with you, spread the word to friends and Co-workers. Consistency will go along way. It’s truly all about the journey!
Words off the Street
Creator: Brett (BJ) Schneider
Format: mostly guest interviews with some round table
Hardware: Microphone: Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser; Recorder: ZOOM H6, through Yamaha mixer
Software: Skype, Zencaster, Audacity
Tips: Love your topic. Your audience will be able to tell and respond accordingly.
Heavy Lies The Helmet (HLTH)
Creators: Mike Boone and Bryan Boone
Format: discussion, guest interviews, case studies, equipment review, and conference summaries
Hardware: Microphones: Audio-Technica ATR2100 w/On Stage MY-420 shock mount and windscreen
Tips: It’s not about having the best equipment – It’s about knowing how to use it. Know your material. Know your audience.
Creator: Steven Cohen
Format: guest interviews
Hardware: Microphone: Yeti Blue; Recorder: Roland R-05
Software: Audacity and uberconference
Tips: Be yourself and stay true to your format. My podcast is non-scripted and has worked for over 120 episodes.
Special Thanks to Academic Life in Emergency Medicine whose blog series “How I Podcast Smarter” inspired this post.
If you are interested in starting a podcast, join the EMS Podcasts facebook group to connect with other EMS podcasters.