Life has always been about balance. Especially today, as most of us are still trying to find ourselves and figure out what do we want to do in life, we may delve into different career paths and try different things out. As a result, we often find ourselves juggling several things at the same time.
Podcasting as a hobby
In this episode, Chris Tondevold talks about finding the balance between family, career and a hobby – which in his case is podcasting. Chris is the producer and the host of The Ambition Radio podcast and the idea for this podcast was developed when Chris found himself trying to juggle booking concerts and shows for musicians, while studying and at the same time still doing his regular nine-to-five job.
He realized that he probably wasn’t the only person who is going through this and that’s why he created Ambition Radio, as a way to help himself and other people who are having trouble staying motivated and pursuing the hobbies they love while at the same time doing their regular jobs that pay the bills.
Chris explains that he enjoys the type of connection that interviewing people gives him the opportunity to experience, unlike those that are present in a corporate setting, which is all about the business at hand and not about creating a genuine human connection. He also talks about how mentally draining it can get when you have to regularly put out content and how hard it is to stay motivated once you decide to be a content creator.
For Chris, audio editing is the most tedious part of podcast production and is something that he often thinks about outsourcing. However, he believes that editing his own show makes him more invested in the product and therefore makes the end-product better, even though it’s sometimes hard to find motivation to work on the episodes.
Chris believes that his career in sales comes in handy when looking for people to join him on the show. If you’re having trouble reaching out to people to do interviews or even with promoting your podcast, Chris would definitely recommend picking up books on sales and how to do sales pitches. It can be especially helpful to people who want to learn how to properly communicate their wants and needs.
Preparing for the interview
One more important skill to have, especially when you’re working with people is having a good sense of humor. Just so we’re clear, we’re not talking about constantly throwing in inappropriate jokes, but just being able to relieve a stressful situation with light humor. This is especially handy if you’re the host and the guest in front of you just starts freaking out moments before the recording session starts (which happens quite often in podcasting).
If that happens, it’s good to let your guest know it’s just a conversation and if they mess up, all of that can be edited out in post. Also, you can use the first couple of minutes of the interview to small talk a bit and ask a couple of basic questions before you move onto something more serious or technical. Just help them remember why are they here in the first place. Maybe it’s because they are an expert in a specific area and you’re looking to share their knowledge with the world or maybe they are just an interesting person with a lot of things to say… Either way, it’s normal to freak out before an interview – this can happen whether you are a host or a guest. Stage fright is a normal human experience and your job is to make the guest feel as comfortable as possible. And remember – when it comes to any type of fear or anxiety of performing, the more you put yourself out there, the less intense the feeling is going to be.
One more thing that Chris talks about in the interview is that a good way to prepare for an interview is to not make the questions just a “yes” or “no” questions, but to really lay the groundwork for the guest to actually provide some interesting insights and thoughts about the subject, without pushing them towards a certain answer that you want to hear.
Chris isn’t a fan of social media and does not like being in the spotlight, but is aware that in order for the show to grow, you do need to put yourself out there. He also believes that the visuals are very important, especially show’s cover art and it’s important to come up with something that is a good representation of your brand, while also making it stand out. Visuals are crucial when it comes to attracting listeners, but great content is something that leaves people wanting more – which should be one of your main goals – to keep people coming back.
In Chris’ experience, trying to promote his podcast on social media has not been proven as productive as with word of mouth, however keep in mind that with bigger budgets and with an expert – a social media marketer, it is a viable strategy to accelerate the growth of your audience.
Finally, Chris explains how content creation is often perceived as easy, but in reality can be very demanding and how it’s all about finding out what works best for you, which is a gradual process and is not something that can be rushed. His advice for anyone thinking about starting their own podcast is to “get into it” and not wait until everything is perfect as there will never be a perfect moment! Just do the best you can and make sure you are well prepared and don’t worry about it too much, as you will be learning a lot as you go. “Pursue your dreams… but also, don’t burn yourself out” is his secret to balancing family, career and podcasting.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our own podcast or continue reading our blog posts. If you have any questions about the work we do here at Nootka Sound or you just want to say hi, be sure to reach out to email@example.com.