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Podcast Production with Danny Ozment

George Grombacher February 25, 2022

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Podcast Production with Danny Ozment

LifeBlood: We talked about podcast production, figuring out why you want to start a podcast, dealing with the necessary technology, and how to define success, with Danny Ozment, Owner of Emerald City Productions, a podcast strategy and production company.  

Listen to learn why getting started is more important than being perfect!

You can learn more about Danny at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Danny Ozment

Episode Transcript

Come on one level of this is George G. And the time is right welcome. Today’s guest is strong and powerful Danny Osment. Danny, are you ready to do this?

Danny Ozment 0:19

george grombacher 0:20
Alright, let’s let’s go. Danny is the owner of Emerald City productions. He’s a business strategist, a podcast consultant, and he is the host of podcast strategies for growing your business, community and influence. Danny, tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do?

Danny Ozment 0:39
Well, I’m based here in Orlando, Florida. I have a wonderful family, two kids, a nine year old and a 14 year old. And I wanted to be a George, you might be able to see my drones in the background here. I wanted to be a musician my entire life, I went to school, for music, I have a master’s degree in conducting and started to work in the nonprofit arts world, I was conducting orchestras and choruses at the Kennedy Center in DC, the National Cathedral. And in 2008, when my first child was born, she suffered a brain injury at birth. And so were there there were some medical issues right away, where my wife and I, we needed some flexibility. And we talked it over. And I ended up being the one with less benefits that you know, had a little bit more flexibility. And so I decided to figure out something that I can do working from home. And that meant basically what you know, what did I know that I already knew that I could really quickly turn into a business and that was recording because as a musician, I’ve been doing lots of recording. And so I actually jumped into the world of music recording. If you’ve seen the Pitch Perfect movies, I spent about six or seven years working in the pop acapella recording world recording colleges like that, I worked on NBC the Sing Off. And it was great. But what I realized was musicians were a little harder to work with projects lasted forever, you know, they would go for a year, year and a half, two years. Budgets were stretched, then if that I think that’s a nice way to say it. It was hard to get paid on time. And I realized I needed to figure out something else to grow my business because it was just sort of Stein at the time, and I wanted to have some more flexibility for my wife, you know, wanted her to be able to work part time, if possible. And so I realized, you know, I’m listening to a bunch of podcasters I’m loving these podcasts, they’re helping me grow my business, they’re helping me with my life. But a bunch of podcasters just didn’t sound good. Like their their podcasts were just really terrible. So I reached out to them. And I said, Hey, you know, I’m a recording engineer. I’d love to help you with your show. And people were like, yes, please, you know, please help me. I don’t know what I’m doing. But I have this great audience and all that sort of stuff. So I started doing it for free. And then it was a little bit of money here and there. And over the last six or seven years, it’s now grown into an agency where we’re working with 30 Different podcasters each week. I’ve got a team of 10 editors and copywriters, and graphic designers and all those sorts of things, where it’s now this big business and and why do I do what I do? I realized when I was listening to this podcast that those podcasts were changing the world. Podcasts are really the one place that we have now where people can have nuanced conversations, they can share stories with each other. And, and that’s why I got into it because it’s giving people the chance to walk a mile in other people’s shoes.

george grombacher 4:01
Nice. That is a that’s a pretty amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. Never talk to anybody that has a master’s degree in conducting and is actually conducted at the Kennedy Center. So yeah, amazing. Did you grow up? Did your parents make you do piano lessons when you were a kid and you were a little

Danny Ozment 4:19
bit that I was interested in music and like I was forced to do two years were at that point. Now with my nine year old were like, you know, if you like music, if you want to try it if you want to learn a little bit about it. You got to take some piano lessons for a little while. And luckily, he has a really cool teacher so it makes it easier. Yeah, for sure. So I love that old lady, you know that she didn’t whack my fingers or anything like that. But it was definitely the little lady. It wasn’t as cool.

george grombacher 4:47
Now, that sounds like a pretty familiar, a pretty similar story to the one that I had so nice. All right. So you start tuning in to podcasts and now it’s it’s eight years later and You’re working with all these different shows and helping them get their message into the world. It strikes me obviously, I do a good amount of podcasting, but I don’t think about necessarily other people who would start thinking about podcasting. It seems like everything has changed from when you started to where we are today. Obviously, there’s a million paternalist.

Danny Ozment 5:21
Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s lots of podcasts out there. Interestingly enough, though, you know, Apple, like, if you look at Apple’s Podcast Directory, they they claim to have something like over 2 million podcasts in there. However, about a million 5,000,008, something like that are inactive podcasts. And about 1.4 million of those are the responsibility of our came from anchor. So when anchor launched and a lot, everybody could do a podcast from their phone. There’s a lot of podcasts in there that have zero episodes, or like one episode or a trailer, something like that. So right now, there’s actually only about 400,000 active podcasts in Apple’s directory, which is the largest directory out there.

george grombacher 6:09
Nice. Alright. So when people are seeing these numbers that like, Well, why would I start a podcast saturated? Nobody’s ever gonna listen to it.

Danny Ozment 6:17
Right? There’s actually less active podcast now than there were three or four years ago. And there’s way more listeners. So that’s why if you wanted to get into podcasting, now, there’s there’s an audience out there. And

george grombacher 6:29
okay, angry. So what? Why are people starting podcasts?

Danny Ozment 6:37
Well, you know, there’s your entertainment podcast, there’s your news podcast, there’s your politics, podcast, things like that, where people are sharing information. And they want to, you know, teach people something, or they want to be a fan of fear, The Walking Dead or something like that. They want to get together with their community. But the reason I see most people starting podcasts, and the reason I urge people to start podcasts is that of the, let’s say, the the long form or the the main content that’s out there for content marketing, like a blog, podcasts, a YouTube channel, something like that. Those are your long term investment, content marketing channels. And the reason I recommend podcasting for anyone is that there’s this magic that happens when you start a podcast because you’re, you know, you’re doing a 20 minute episode, you’re doing a 30 minute episode, the average weekly podcast is about 45 to 50 minutes or a little longer, actually. So that’s a long time that the listener is spending with you and the average podcast listener, you know, they’re subscribing or following six shows, they’re listening to an hour to an hour and a half of audio content a day. That’s a lot of time. That’s a lot of time that people spend with a podcast host that they might spend more than their friends are there with their partner, even, you know, like, I get together with my wife for a weekly hour and a half, two hour date. And that’s about the only time during the week that we actually have real conversations, the podcast listeners doing that all the time with the host, even though it’s one way. So what happens is this relationship builds between the host and the listener, and it really is a friendship. And what happens is that this trust builds, so much so that the listener now treats or thinks of the host as a friend, but also an expert, and authority. It’s someone that they trust they’re going to listen to, and it’s really powerful in terms of marketing, whatever you’re doing.

george grombacher 8:45
Yeah, that certainly does make sense. Those Those numbers are probably probably aligned with the amount of podcasts that I consume. And so you’re telling me that those are the averages that that certainly does make sense? Definitely. For people who are who are this this, okay, yeah, I, I’m interested in in doing that in investing time and doing this and deepening my relationships with my audience, because whether I’m trying to grow a business, or I’m trying to be more influential, or all these kinds of things, it certainly does make sense. But how do I bridge the gap between fear anxiety? I don’t know how there’s there’s stuff that stands in my way.

Danny Ozment 9:30
Yeah, they’re definitely hurdles. I talk about a lot. The three main hurdles, time, tech, and too many ideas. Yeah, I just came out like, oh, that’s three T’s. It’s cool. I sound like a marketing guy now. But really, it is. You know, podcasting is the type of thing that you need to do if, especially if you’re better at talking. Like you don’t want to be maybe you don’t want to be on camera. a lot. So you don’t want to do video, you’re nervous about that. Or you’re not a writer, podcasting can be this wonderful thing where you can, you can just talk and you can figure it out. Like that’s one of the things I love about it is you can just start a podcast. And you can have some ideas. And you can do a 30 minute show, and you can put your stuff out there. But then you can ask your audience for questions, you can ask your audience for feedback. And they can kind of guide you to maybe where the podcast needs to be. And because it’s such long form, you have this place where you can work on those things, you can work on those ideas. But time can be a hurdle. Because, you know, the 30 minute episode ends up taking you three hours to edit, if you’re really particular, you don’t like your own voice or something like that. So when dealing with the time and getting all the stuff done, and getting everything out of there, a lot of us, I have a podcast myself, use a team, or we hire an editor, we hire someone to do the things that we’re not an expert at. So outsourcing can be one of those things that helps you with that hurdle. It also helps you with the tech, you know, for the last time we talked about, and you mentioned earlier that things have been changing tech for a long time it was you had to get a mixing this 300 $400 microphone and plug it in and get it to sound good. And then set up all the stuff with Skype and zoom and make sure everything works right every time and all these sorts of things. But it’s actually starting to get easier, it’s gotten a lot easier. You know, you and I both are talking on USB microphones, so you can plug directly into your computer. And it’s usually plug and play and it just works. And zoom recognizes it, all you got to do is remember to unmute your microphone. There now, there’s software and apps out there that are making editing easy. I often recommend a tool called descript. That is out there. Now it’s new in the last couple of years, I think they’ve benefited a lot, especially from the pandemic, just like zoom, where you can record in this app. And as you’re recording, it transcribes your recording. And then you can edit from the transcription, you can literally delete a word and it deletes the word and the audio. And as an audio engineer, I have to say Yeah, and you have to be careful because when you cut something out of audio it, it can get a little messy if there’s like a breath in between and it chops the breath in half. And we’ve all heard that we’ve all heard bad editing, but it makes it easier. And then you can mix in it. And it’s got some simple tools, and they have lots of great tutorials. So the tech is getting easier. But if that’s something where, like, if you can’t figure out how to connect your printer, to your computer, at home on the Wi Fi, you probably should hire someone to help you with the tech side of things. And then too many ideas that I spend a lot of time when I’m launching shows, with people having just someone to advise you on Well, here’s your big idea that you have, or here’s your some of your ideas. I’d love to do a show about this. I’d love to do a show about this. Well, gotta have someone there to ask you. What’s your goal? Why are you doing this? Why do you want to help people? What are you going to talk to them about? What value could you give them? Is there a way? You know, like, I spend a lot of time with lawyers and real estate professionals who are interested in starting podcasts. And they want to talk about some of the things that the questions that they answer all the time or they want to talk about.

Advice that they can give people about the real estate market and in their area. And I tell him what, you know, that’s great. And that might be a segment of your show. But because you’re so based in a local area, it would be better for you to do a podcast about your local area and really spend time helping people learn about where they live. interview people in the area, recommend places recommend restaurants to use, become that digital Mayor really of your town, and then be the lawyer that everybody knows the personal injury attorney that’s not on the billboards. It’s the one that’s actually helping me learn about my area. So when I need a lawyer, maybe I don’t need a personal injury lawyer. But the only one I know is this guy, the podcast that I listened to or this lady that I listened to, I’m going to contact them. And then you get referrals to you know, so it’s one of those things where if you can get a little bit of help from outside of your start as you’re starting a podcast or thinking about a podcast that can really help you get past those hurdles and get going.

george grombacher 14:33
I love it. That makes a ton of sense. Digital mayor, that’s a cool, also a cool term aside from the three T’s which which which which

Danny Ozment 14:41
Yeah, and you know, now that lots of like local papers have gone out of business. There’s there’s not a lot of there’s these local magazines, right but they’re all produced by the same publishing company that covers half the state, that type of thing. It’s really nice to have that person that you know, lives in a certain area to have an office in the certain area where you live, and you can hear about all these things you can, they can be better than Yelp, they can be better than Google reviews and things like that.

george grombacher 15:10
Like that. That’s super cool. And it makes all the sense in the world. And when you’re talking to people, and you say, Okay, what are your goals for this? Not everybody’s going to be Joe Rogan. But that’s not the point, right? Because my point is, I’m interested in growing my real estate business. I’m interested in growing my, my, my law firm here in in Peoria, XYZ state.

Danny Ozment 15:35
Yeah, definitely. And, you know, when we’re talking about goals, I’m I’m very realistic. The average podcaster, the average podcast gets about 150 downloads 125 downloads per episode, over about a month period. And that’s kind of a we use that metric, because a lot of people want to get into podcasts, and then they go, I’m gonna get all these advertisements and sponsors, and I’m gonna make a bunch of money that way. Well, I come to them with real numbers, and I say, you know, oh, you’re only likely going to get about 125 downloads per month, for the first six months, or a year like this is a really long term investment, you’ve got to stay consistent, you got to keep going every week, because that’s how you build your audience in the podcasting world. And it’s not until you get 2000 downloads per episode, or 5000 downloads per episode, that advertisers will even look at you. And oh, by the way, if you’re at 5000 downloads per episode, you’re in the top 10% of all podcasts. I was having a conversation with some people at a cast, which is a big Podcast Network last week. And I have some clients that they might be interested in. And they were telling me things like, you know, you’ve got to be at 20,000 downloads for episode before we really can sell you to advertisers. So I I talk to people about their goals, and that if only 125 people are listening to you each week, who do you need those 125 people to be? In, there’s a lot of people that get frustrated, we have a term in the industry called pod fade, where usually about 10 episodes and a lot of people give up. Because 50 people are listening, there’s nobody listening to my podcasts that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the time. It’s not worth the two hours a week I’m spending on this. And I say to them, Well, if you were speaking at a conference, if you were speaking at the local Rotary Club, and 50 people showed up, wouldn’t that be a big deal? Yeah, a lot of people like oh, yeah, I’ve I do breakout sessions at conferences, and there’s five people in there. And I still and I think that’s like a big deal. So I urge them to think about it that way that if you can get an audience and really get them focused, and you know, like, I have a client who helps lawyers, he’s a marketing professional for lawyers. And he’s been podcasting now for two to three years. And, you know, started out he had a couple 100 people listening, and then it was 500. It’s about 1000, after six months. And then after three years, he’s gotten up to 2020 500 downloads per episode. And it’s sort of plateaued. And I said, that’s probably your audience, you’ve probably found your audience. And that’s what I urge most podcasters to, to look at as a goal is find their audience that is really there for to help them reach the goal that they want for their podcast, but also to help those people reach their goals as listeners.

george grombacher 18:38
I love it. I think that makes a ton of sense. Important to go into everything with sort of understanding what your goals and your priorities and what it is you’re trying to accomplish. So so we do that experience pod fate. Another great time, Danny, I love it. Well, Danny, people ready for that difference making tip? What do you have for them?

Danny Ozment 19:01
I really love to tell people to start ugly. Like, just get going. If, if I were to say the one thing about podcasters that have come to me over the last six or seven years of doing this, it’s that most people who start a podcast have been thinking about starting a podcast for a year or two. And that always gets me because if you wait a year or two to start a podcast that’s a year or to an audience that you could have built up the the podcasts like mentioned, it’s a long term investment. It’s something that you keep doing. It’s your body of work. It’s like whenever you’re trying to do anything, if people look and say hey, this person’s got a podcast and wow, they’ve got 80 episodes. They’ve got 150 episodes. People realize that’s a significant amount of work. They realize that you know what you’re doing and that you’re an expert and that you could talk about anything and and be someone that they could trust for that information. But you got to get started. And it’s with a lot of things. Some people say Done is better than perfect. But you’ve just got to get started to figure out, especially in podcasting, what it is you’re really going to talk about, where you’re going to get focused on and get moving. It’s like, you’ve got to build that habit of showing up each week, to be able to stay consistent. And I give people you know, you don’t have to show up every week, you just got to publish every week, you could record all your episodes once a month, you could batch record, you could do all your interviews on one day, something like that. I do one day a week when I’m recording for my podcast, but you’ve just got to get started. And that’s that’s that’s the difference making tip I can I can offer it start ugly, just get going.

george grombacher 20:49
Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. Yeah, that’s that’s really well said right there. I mean, it’s crazy that people have been thinking about it. As I say that makes all the sense in the world. They’ve been thinking about it for a year or two years even and just just got to get started. And I think that that’s so great. Whether you’re wanting to podcast or start a blog or YouTube channel, just get started. I love it. Danny, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Danny Ozment 21:21
Well, if they are really interested in getting help starting a podcast, the easiest thing they can do is go to Emerald City That is our podcast production and consulting agency. You will get in touch with me if you go there and we can get you started. If you’re someone who maybe doesn’t have a budget and you know you’re gonna have to do this yourself, I can help you get started for free just go to Danny And there you’ll be able to download my 25 Step roadmap that basically takes you through everything you need to do to start a podcast in the exact order that you need to do it with the exact equipment and the exact software and exact services that you need to sign up for.

george grombacher 22:04
Awesome well if you enjoyed this as much as I did so Danny your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas if you are ready to go and you say you know what I’m not interested in doing this on my own go to Emerald City pro calm and connect with Danny about working with his agency if you say you know what, I just want to learn a little bit more do it on my own go to Danny Osment, calm da NYOZMENT COMM slash roadmap and pick up those 25 steps to get your podcast launched. Thanks. Good, Danny. Thank you. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight is we’re all in this together.

Transcribed by

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