Let’s paint a picture: It’s December 2019, The Conquer Risk Podcast is in its first season, and the episode “Gear Up” describes what makes our podcast so great. (If you want to up our view count from ten, please go watch.) The one caveat? We don’t use 90% of what we mentioned anymore.
At the time, this equipment was what we used to create our content—with excellence, a budget, and little technical expertise. Today, we are still generating content with useful information; however, we just got better at it. (I mean, have you seen Industry Gossip lately?)
We want to guide advisors away from making inevitable mistakes—no one needs to be recording with a tool made in 1987 or using a green screen to show a chart. The show doesn’t have to be nominated for an award, but it needs to look credible and still be engaging.
Everything starts with great audio. So, it’s essential to get it right. And no, you shouldn’t be reliant on your business computer’s audio tools. If you struggle with audio, you can expect to struggle with everything afterward (the whole podcast).
We used the condenser microphone during the episode “Gear Up,” which was perfect for any space and captured crisp, clean audio from a few inches away. It was only a twenty-dollar microphone, and it was paired with an audio recorder on an SD card. So, when we finished recording, we would just slide it into our computer and, boom, we had an audio file.
Now, we are using an entirely different microphone that’s a tiny bit more expensive. Our current microphone is the AKG Pro Audio. It connects directly to your computer via USB-C and is a seamless condenser for recording and streaming; it will cost you about one-hundred and forty dollars.
Different from our first microphone, the AKG has four user-friendly capture modes with audio tuning. It’s universality compatible and offers an easy setup—you plug it in, and then you’re ready to play; it doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac or PC. No audio recorder is required.
You may be wondering why even include video when starting an audio podcast? The simple answer is you don’t need to be, but this step opens the door to new possibilities.
If you’re trying to reach new people, whether that is on your website, social media, etc., you’re not going to place a black screen with the sound of your voice. You need sharable things. By adding video, the chances of engagement go up exponentially if you’re on a visual platform like Instagram or YouTube.
We were still figuring out what gave us the perfect visual without complication. We concluded it was a phone. While we still had people using their computer cameras in the company, we thought the phone was the way to go. With advancements in technology, the value in putting your phone on airplane mode and hit record, you’ve got video. The computer will automatically sync them for you, and you’re done.
But we wanted to become simpler; a camera that connects with your computer and has spectacular video quality. The Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam is made for video conferencing, recording, and streaming—three things we do daily.
The one-hundred-and-seventy-dollar webcam (look, it’s still cheaper than a phone.) hooks up easily to the top of your monitor or computer. It automatically adjusts the light for exposure and contrast. This translates to you’ll look great during any recording. We have found using this camera makes it a more consistent visual across our podcast channel.
There are thousands of video editing software out there, and they’re all pretty good. However, choose the software designed for what you’re trying to output. It’s like with a microphone, camera, or anything else—pick the right tool for the job.
You don’t need to use an extensive, sophisticated editing system or dedicate hours of your time learning new technology. There will always be tools that are straightforward to use.
One recommendation we had for short videos was Clipomatic; you can record directly in the app, and it automatically creates subtitles. This tool pairs well in terms of social media because the audio doesn’t always play.
However, for a lot that has changed, some things never change. For podcast editing, we are still using Adobe Premiere. You may have heard of Adobe before; it has tools like Illustrator and InDesign under its name. With an inexpensive monthly subscription, you get all their programs to use.
Adobe Premiere is a fantastic tool that works on Mac and PC and continues to evolve—you drag a clip, make edits, and then you export. We also use Final Cut Pro X and Motion because Christopher is old and refuses to change. Just like Premiere, they’re excellent tools to create graphics and add the final touches like intros and conclusions to a podcast episode—it’s simplicity with ease.
Keep in my mind: there is a lot of competition in podcasting. Using a unique intro segment, finding a clip of music that defines your podcast, or doing something else to stand out is valuable; it adds recognition.
There are a few different paths you can take to do this well. The first is to hire an artist to create your own custom music. We see this as an extension of your brand and can become as recognizable as your logo. We did this with the original Conquer Risk Podcast, but it wasn’t sustainable as we launched multiple shows. Instead, we turned to Marmoset and Premium Beat to find unique tracks. It can be time-consuming to find something great, but it’s worth it if you’re willing to put in the work.
We might be using this gear in another two years—or we might be using entirely different equipment. Find the path of least resistance and clearly communicate your proposition.
We want to emphasize that you don’t need to spend $10,000 to build your brand. Find things that work at the moment and adapt as you go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the Conquer Risk Podcast.
Disclosure: This information is prepared for general information only and should not be considered as individual investment advice nor as a solicitation to buy or offer to sell any securities. This material does not constitute any representation as to the suitability or appropriateness of any investment advisory program or security. Please visit our FULL DISCLOSURE page.