The third blog post in a series about my show, About The Adventure, this time focusing on the preparation and processes that I follow for each episode. Here I share how I choose guests to interview, what preparation I do in advance of recording, and what happens between recording and publishing. I also answer some questions that were sent to me. You can read part one of the series here - My podcast expenses & equipment and part two here - My podcast analytics. By sharing my personal experience of creating a podcast I hope to give you some idea of why I do it, what happens behind the scenes, and how I approach my work.
Choosing guests to interview
I received a great question from Rebecca Howard who I know through my newsletter: how do you look for people to interview?
Most of my guests are people who I know, or at least who I know of, and I invite them on my show based on their career change stories. I like to mostly interview people who are in the early stages of their career change because I think this captures the first important steps, plus the challenges, fears and concerns that are a natural part of the experience. I have quite a lot of people on my list of people to invite on the show, some of which have already expressed an interest in being interviewed, and some who have absolutely no idea that they are on my list.
My aim is to work towards covering a really broad range of different jobs and career changes, so that it grows to be a true represenation of unique stories and of the opportunities out there for people to learn about. I really love to interview people on this topic, so I hope that I can produce episodes more regularly. I have set up a patreon page to support my work, where I'm offering access to a private online career change community in return for people's support. I plan to grow this community so that I can also offer career change workshops and events as well.
I have more recently started to receive messages from people who have put themselves forward to be interviewed, which I am really open to as it means that I can meet new people. There is sometimes a waiting period before we set up the interview, but this will reduce when I begin to record them more regularly. It does feel great to hear from people who want to share their stories on my show, especially considering that I am still in the early stages of creating it.
Preparing for the interviews
The main preparation that I do in advance is writing a list of questions that I want to ask my guests, which I share with them in advance to make sure that they are happy. I try to ask a mixture of open questions and some that are more directed, based on what I know about the person. I usually do a bit of online research as well, through social media and google searches.
Sometimes I have a chat with my guests before preparing the questions so that I can get to know them a little bit, and so that we feel a bit more relaxed when we record the interview together. My list of questions serve as a guide for me during the interview, but I leave plenty of room to ask additional ones if I think of any while we are recording.
I record the introductions and episode endings separately, and when I'm alone, as I like to focus on the questions when I'm with my guests. I always type this up first so that it's clear and concise when I'm recording it, and there's usually a few outtakes before I get it just about right.
Writing the show notes
Once Gabby (superstar editor) has sent me the edited version of each episode, I listen to the interview at least twice before I publish it. The first time is just to sit back and enjoy listening to my guests, and the second time is to prepare the show notes. I already have a draft of the questions that I asked, which I update when I listen back, and then I jot down any great quotes so that I can use these as an episode title and for sharing on social media. I also write any references that are mentioned, so that I can provide links in the show notes for listeners.
Another great question from Rebecca Howard: Do you mind listening to the sound of your own voice if you listen back? I thought that this would be an issue for me, but because I was a guest on Alastair Humphrey’s Living Adventurously Podcast and I received such positive feedback, this really helped me get over this hurdle because it gave me more confidence. I also made a conscious decision to focus my attention on the reasons why I’m creating the podcast and the experience that my guests have, rather than on myself and more specifically my voice.
I really enjoy the process of getting the show together and I think it’s really valuable because then people can read the notes before they decide whether to listen to it or not. I also use the show notes to create a blog post on my website, complete with a picture of my guests and more details about the interview. I feel like each episode is a project, which is why I have been aiming for just one episode a month. I hope that Gabby and I can produce them more regularly with the support from listeners who join my patreon community. I would much prefer to create a community and add more value, than turn to sponsorship and advertisements.
Do you have any questions about this blog post? You can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch on my social media accounts. This post rounds up the series of blog posts about my experience of creating About The Adventure podcast. If there's anything else that you'd like to know then please get in touch.
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