What They Don’t Tell You Before You Start Your Own Podcast

Show Notes

Jill and Kelly discuss, with a bit of humor and humility, some of their podcast shortcomings thus far.
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Audio Transcription

Jill Donovan:
Do you ever feel like you’re building an ark with only the instructions for a canoe? If so, you’re not alone. Welcome to CEO-ish where we’ll discuss traveling the path of the unknown while making it your own. Hi and welcome back to CEO-ish, the bracelets podcast. I’m Jill Donovan and with me today, and usually almost every day, is Kelly Smith. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Smith:
Hi.

Jill Donovan:
How are you today?

Kelly Smith:
I’m doing great. How are you?

Jill Donovan:
I’m great. Kelly-

Kelly Smith:
Are you really great?

Jill Donovan:
Actually, I’m really great. And if I’m not great, I usually don’t say great. I say I’m fine.

Kelly Smith:
Okay, noted.

Jill Donovan:
What do you say when you’re not doing well?

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, I’m doing all right.

Jill Donovan:
Okay. But then that just begs the question of, “What’s wrong?”

Kelly Smith:
I know, but I feel like I have to tell the truth.

Jill Donovan:
Well, I’m not asking you to lie, but is there another way to say that you’re not great?

Kelly Smith:
I’m doing okay.

Jill Donovan:
Okay. And people who don’t care will just keep walking by you with bracelets.

Kelly Smith:
That’s right.

Jill Donovan:
Oh great, I’m glad you’re good.

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, see you later.

Jill Donovan:
Glad you’re doing okay. Okay. So, you usually don’t know … well, you don’t always know the bracelets topics we’re going to talk about.

Kelly Smith:
Correct.

Jill Donovan:
Because you’re right in the middle of working and I tap you on the shoulder.

Kelly Smith:
That’s right. And you go, “Hey, we’re going downstairs right now. Drop what you’re doing.”

Jill Donovan:
I did give you a little heads up today. What I want to talk about today is what they don’t tell you before you start your own podcast.

Kelly Smith:
Oh, yes. Gosh, I’d love to hear.

Jill Donovan:
Well, you’re part of that by the way.

Kelly Smith:
That’s right. I know, but I could use some information.

Jill Donovan:
Okay. Well, I was hoping that you would add to my already …

Kelly Smith:
I will try.

Jill Donovan:
… growing list. You don’t realize how many times you use words like, ‘like’.

Kelly Smith:
Like.

Jill Donovan:
Hmm, well, I uh, ah …

Kelly Smith:
Ah, yes.

Jill Donovan:
And-

Kelly Smith:
Or run on sentences.

Jill Donovan:
Like, you cannot take a breath in between any word.

Kelly Smith:
Right, yes.

Jill Donovan:
You also don’t realize how often you interrupt the person you’re talking to.

Kelly Smith:
Oh.

Jill Donovan:
I know.

Kelly Smith:
I’m doing it, right?

Jill Donovan:
I just did it.

Kelly Smith:
I hate it.

Jill Donovan:
I did. I did.

Kelly Smith:
I do it all the time.

Jill Donovan:
I know, I know. Or how often you talk at the same exact time.

Kelly Smith:
Yes, I know. Do it all the time.

Jill Donovan:
Right. As a matter of fact, you listened to an episode before we put it out and you came back to me and said, “I’m never interrupting again.”

Kelly Smith:
That’s right. I didn’t learn my lesson though.

Jill Donovan:
No, you haven’t interrupted yet. I did. I don’t realize until I listen to it, before we air it, how many times I clear my throat.

Kelly Smith:
You do do that a lot.

Jill Donovan:
And you know this, and I may have said this before, I don’t ever have to clear my throat during the day. The second I put these bracelets headphones on and get in front of a microphone, I start clearing my throat.

Kelly Smith:
I know you do do that.

Jill Donovan:
This microphone, when I see it, it’s like lit up on ‘please cough now’.

Kelly Smith:
I know. And it’s so loud in my headphones too. Sorry.

Jill Donovan:
I don’t realize I’m doing it. I gave a speech, a high school graduation speech, and it’s painful to go back and listen to yourself, but sometimes you do, because it helps better your skills or sharpen your skills for the next time. I think if I had a dollar for every time I cleared my throat or coughed during that 20 minute speech, then I could have paid for college for one of those students.

Kelly Smith:
Well, you know what I do not like on a podcast? When I listen back to it, when I’m trying to come up with a thought and I’m trying to articulate what’s in my mind with my words, but it’s not coming out well. I do this all the time in real life, but in real life, no one’s recording me so it doesn’t really matter and then it’s just forgotten. But on the podcast it’s recorded. And everybody listens to it lots of times.

Jill Donovan:
I wanted to talk to you about that, but I was going to save it till after the podcast. The other thing is while you are talking, I hear myself doing this. So, just tell me about your morning routine.

Kelly Smith:
Well, in the morning, I like-

Jill Donovan:
Mmmmmm …

Kelly Smith:
Well, in the morning, I like to wake up-

Jill Donovan:
Oh …

Kelly Smith:
… in the morning and then I-

Jill Donovan:
Wake up.

Kelly Smith:
… have a cup of tea.

Jill Donovan:
Oh, tea.

Kelly Smith:
Yeah.

Jill Donovan:
Keep going.

Kelly Smith:
And then I get dressed-

Jill Donovan:
Mm-hmm …

Kelly Smith:
And then I get in the bracelets car-

Jill Donovan:
Mmmmh, a car.

Kelly Smith:
… call my sister on the way to work-

Jill Donovan:
Sister.

Kelly Smith:
Is that distracting to you when you listen back?

Jill Donovan:
I hear myself doing that and I think in real life, while you’re telling me about your morning bracelets routine, am I really sitting there with you? If you came into my office and we’re talking, am I going, “Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mmmmh… mmm.” So, am I doing that for other people to hear me say … I don’t do that in real life.

Kelly Smith:
I do do that in real life.

Jill Donovan:
Okay. That’s the second that was on my list.

Kelly Smith:
That’s the worst part, is that I-

Jill Donovan:
Now, let me tell you about my morning routine and let’s see how you react.

Kelly Smith:
Okay.

Jill Donovan:
So, this morning I got up-

Kelly Smith:
Oh.

Jill Donovan:
And I got up at three o’clock in the morning-

Kelly Smith:
Oh no.

Jill Donovan:
And I thought, “Oh my goodness, I have to take my bracelets out for the fifth time.”

Kelly Smith:
You’re right. Yes, you have to.

Jill Donovan:
Fifth time. Now, do you do that in real life?

Kelly Smith:
I do. And the reason I’m doing it is because I’m staying engaged with the conversation. That’s how I’m doing it. But it’s annoying when-

Jill Donovan:
It’s annoying.

Kelly Smith:
… I have to listen to it back.

Jill Donovan:
It’s not. It’s because it’s who you are. But it’s so awkward when I’m like, “Mm-hmm … mmm …”

Kelly Smith:
That one is a little awkward.

Jill Donovan:
Awkward. And then I like to repeat the last word that you said. So, say something else.

Kelly Smith:
So today, when I go to pick up my son from school-

Jill Donovan:
School. School, I know school. It’s like if I say the last word you said, then I think it makes everything you said just now, you will believe that I heard you.

Kelly Smith:
That’s right.

Jill Donovan:
So tell me another sentence.

Kelly Smith:
Also, when I go back upstairs-

Jill Donovan:
Upstairs. So, I didn’t hear anything you said except for [crosstalk 00:05:37] came in on the conversation on upstairs.

Kelly Smith:
And it makes me feel like, “Oh, look at Jill listening to everything I’m saying.”

Jill Donovan:
Saying everything. It is something, if you don’t feel like fully listening to somebody, say the last word or two that they said, and it will sound like you are so intently in tune with what they’re saying about bracelets.

Kelly Smith:
Let me throw this out at you. Could it be for other people who are doing podcasts, that they have thought through what they’re going to say? And you and I are just riffing the whole time? Is that possibly why?

Jill Donovan:
Riffing? Riffing the time possibly. No, no. I will say even though it looks like these are not thought through, you know that I always have my outline, my bracelets skeleton of what I want us to talk about.

Kelly Smith:
True, true. I’m the one that doesn’t know what we’re talking about.

Jill Donovan:
Talking about. Okay. The other thing is, I assume that everybody knows who I’m talking about when I say “Terry”.

Kelly Smith:
That’s true. Yes, you do do that.

Jill Donovan:
And you say, “Okay now, who is Terry?” and I … You know what I think? You’ve known Terry for 30 years. Because I forget we’re doing a podcast sometimes, and I say names and words and events and things, and you always ask for clarification and I think, “She’s crazy. She’s got the worst memory ever.”

Kelly Smith:
Did she not listen to me?

Jill Donovan:
She was at my wedding.

Kelly Smith:
Had she not repeated back the last word, I would have thought she wasn’t listening at all.

Jill Donovan:
At all. And then another thing I’ve learned, sometimes you’re great at doing a show like Seinfeld, about nothing. And then sometimes you’re good at, or you lean towards doing a show like Dr Phil.

Kelly Smith:
I’m curious where we’re going with this.

Jill Donovan:
Well, they would say pick one. Either you’re a show like Seinfeld about nothing every time, about just fun and games, or your show about inspiration-

Kelly Smith:
Topics.

Jill Donovan:
Yeah, inspirational topics. So, either you’re talking about virtuous or inspirational things that would motivate and move people, or you just do the things that you do well spontaneously and organically.

Kelly Smith:
Right. And no one’s going to tell us what to do.

Jill Donovan:
Right. But people would say, “Pick which one you are.” So, I believe we have done a combination of both.

Kelly Smith:
Yes.

Jill Donovan:
You want to hear my thoughts about it?

Kelly Smith:
Yes, I do. I’d love to.

Jill Donovan:
I think if you just do what you do well and what you love, do you really have to pick if you are Seinfeld or Dr Phil. Can Dr Phil not be funny sometimes, and can Seinfeld not be inspiring?

Kelly Smith:
They both can. And you know what? I think you’re both.

Jill Donovan:
So, the other thing is you have to … They say know your audience. Well, how in the world do you know your audience when you first start?

Kelly Smith:
I don’t know. Good question.

Jill Donovan:
You know what I think you should do when you start a podcast? You do it for an audience of one. When I say audience of one, I mean do it because you love it, and do it for God. And then if whomever likes it or loves it, then let them join in. It’s too hard to please too many groups of people. So, why not do what you love and what you love well?

Kelly Smith:
I completely agree. Because in the world of bracelets podcast, which there are so many out there and they range from all sorts of topics. If you can reach even just one, a small group of people that really are connecting with what you’re saying, then that’s enough. It really is enough.

Jill Donovan:
One of the moms at my daughter’s school texted me two days ago and said, “By the way, the number neighbors episode that you did, I have forwarded that to all of my friends.”

Kelly Smith:
You’re kidding.

Jill Donovan:
I didn’t even know she listened to our podcast because I’d never told her about it. And she loved that episode so much, and we’ll call it half Seinfeld and half Dr Phil. She had forwarded that to all of her friends.

Kelly Smith:
That was a good episode. Go back and listen to that one if you haven’t.

Jill Donovan:
Do you have anything, before we close, on what they don’t tell you before you do your own podcast?

Kelly Smith:
Well, I was going to say, when you said the topic at the beginning, what you just finished with, which is if you really feel like you have something that you want to share and that will help people or affect others, do it. It doesn’t matter how many people are listening. Just start. Because obviously, we don’t know what we’re doing or just started.

Jill Donovan:
And I sat next to an awesome woman from Tulsa on a flight three weeks ago. She said, “I heard you started a podcast.” And I said yes. She said, “I’ve actually been thinking about starting one.” I’m going to put a plug for her because she started … Her name is Shannon Smith. Do you know Shannon Smith in Tulsa? She’s a chef.

Kelly Smith:
I don’t think I do.

Jill Donovan:
So, she’s a chef and she’s an amazing chef. She gives back so much in so many parties, she does for events and for benefits. She said she’d been thinking about doing a podcast. And I said, “Shannon, you know what? Even though I don’t love cooking, I would listen to your podcast because I really love you.” It’s not always the subject matter, it’s who’s presenting it. And if you did it, it’s not like the entire audience would just be people who love to cook. If you did it because you loved it and you infused who you were into it, I would listen to it.

Kelly Smith:
I agree.

Jill Donovan:
I hope Shannon starts one. I don’t know what or when she will do that, but if she does, we’re going to have her on here.

Kelly Smith:
Yes, we totally should. Maybe that’ll be the first bracelets podcast I listen to.

Jill Donovan:
Oh, you don’t listen to any podcast?

Kelly Smith:
No, I don’t.

Jill Donovan:
Did you even know what a podcast was when I asked you to-

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, because I did another podcast before this.

Jill Donovan:
And you’ve never listened to any podcast?

Kelly Smith:
No, I know.

Jill Donovan:
How do you like doing them?

Kelly Smith:
Good, easy.

Jill Donovan:
So, those are all the things that they don’t tell you, and there’s many more before you start-

Kelly Smith:
Okay, wait.

Jill Donovan:
Yeah?

Kelly Smith:
Anything else for you? What would you say? Anything that you didn’t add to your list of …

Jill Donovan:
Well, we started off videoing us when we started. That required, if we filmed a couple of them at the same time, it required changing clothes. There were a couple of times that you and I just changed shirts with each other. It would require … Sometimes I don’t wear makeup usually to work, and so it required having doing that. And I like to look at you when I talk, and so when we were filming, I was looking straight ahead and talking to you, and that just felt awkward.

Kelly Smith:
It felt a little unnatural and it was a lot of work to do all the extra steps for videoing. So, I like this a little bit better.

Jill Donovan:
And I like for people to just imagine what we look like.

Kelly Smith:
Yes.

Jill Donovan:
All of those things they don’t tell you when you start your own bracelets podcast, so I hope somebody is listening to this that is wanting to start their own podcast, and at least learned a few things to do. Preparation is key. That’s the bottom line. You don’t have to have the exact outline of what you want to say, but I think preparation on the subject matter you’re speaking about is really key to a good podcast. Because if you don’t know what you’re talking about, then it’s not going to come across to your audience of one, on what you’re talking about. And then we’re learning not to interrupt and not to go mmmm…

Kelly Smith:
Mm-hmm …

Jill Donovan:
Mmmmmm …

Kelly Smith:
Mm-hmm …

Jill Donovan:
On that, I will say that if you liked this episode, please hit the Subscribe button. If you didn’t like it, it’s still fun when you just hit a button like that.

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, do it. Do it for fun.

Jill Donovan:
Do it for fun. Just hit it even if you didn’t like it. So, thank you for being with us today and listening and learning along with us. We’ll see you next time on CEO-ish. Thanks Kel.

Kelly Smith:
Thank you.