How I started a podcast

As you may know, I just started a podcast, and for those podcast – curious out there, here are the steps I used to make it happen.

  1. Create a name, description, and artwork for the podcast.
  2. Record an episode using Audacity on my MacBook. I used the internal microphone of my laptop.
  3. Format the recording using Audacity and iTunes, to get it ready to upload to my podcast host.
  4. I use Libsyn to host my podcast, and Blubrry to create the podcast feed (the latter is a plug-in in WordPress).
  5. Upload the episode to Libsyn.
  6. Format the settings for Blubrry in WordPress.
  7. Publish a blog post for the episode.
  8. Submit the feed created by Blubrry to iTunes and Stitcher.

It’s a little bit more complicated than this, so I highly recommend watching these two tutorial/ video series in order to walk through it. 

Smart passive income 

My wife quit her job 

They both cover similar information (both use Audacity, WordPress, Blubrry, and Libsyn), but each have some specific details that I found helpful.

I would say I spent about eight hours getting the first episode up. A lot of the time was spent watching the videos on the links above, and setting up things that I’ll never have to repeat again. I suspect other than the actual recording of an episode, I will need to spend about two hours per episode to get it formatted and online.

Sound check / $100 for your fave charity (ep.01)

Do Good Better podcast logo 300px

The Do Go Better Podcast is up! Listen to this quick intro to get an overview of the podcast and learn how you can get me to donate $100 to your favourite nonprofit or charity.

Resources mentioned in this episode

How to submit a question to be answered on this podcast

Options to subscribe to this podcast:

Career advice for the student

Unless you know that you want a career that requires a professional designation or deep knowledge in one area, do a general degree – eg General Arts, General Science. Take the courses that pique your interest. See where it takes you.

Your degree does not define you. Sure, it might now, while connecting with other students, helps them fit you into a box. But the rest of the world doesn’t work that way. Your life choices in general define you – i.e. you define you. The sum of the courses, workshops, events, volunteer roles, jobs, travel experiences, passion projects and other life experiences define you. My undergrad was in Biology and Chemistry. It was right for me at the time. But now I do consulting and research on issues facing the nonprofit sector. It’s been a short 13 years since I finished my time at UBC. A lot can happen if you intentionally choose your life.

Negotiate for salary, even your first “career” job. And if that’s not negotiable, negotiate for benefits that fit your interests – vacation time, flexible schedule, support for professional development, etc. Read “Ask for It” by Babcock and Laschever.  Especially women and non-alpha people in general.

Your first job does not define you. My first job was as a high school science and math teacher. It was the right job for me at that time, but it was not meant to be my life’s work. 

Shorten your cover letter. Trust me, it’s too long. And most university students can probably fit a resume onto one page. Definitely don’t go more than two. Don’t.

Don’t do a masters degree right away. Even if you want to go into academia. If you’re worried about your job prospects after an undergrad, getting a masters degree won’t get you any further ahead, you’ll just have spent more money. Choose a masters degree once you have some relevant work and life experience that you bring into a learning environment. You will benefit and so will your classmates. Do a masters degree because of personal interest in learning, or to learn from specific people and classmates. And once you get your footing in the non-academic world, you might find that a masters degree isn’t actually what you need and want. I did an MBA after 5 years experience (and did it while continuing to work full time), and I’m glad I had the perspective of professional work experience.

Look at your resume and cover letter from a few feet away. Can you distinguish different sections? Does it look pretty? Fix it until it does. Don’t use Arial or Times New Roman. Or Comic Sans.

Always pay attention to what interests you. A workshop caught your eye? A person interest you? A book draws you in? A topic got you talking? Even if you don’t know where you want to go in your career, pay attention to your attention, and keep moving forward and seeking out experiences.

While in university, take advantage of the free/organized resources and services and experiences at your fingertips. The world outside university is not as supportive. Join clubs, do co-op, do exchanges, take workshops, run for your student association, volunteer for a variety of experiences. If you keep your head down and graduate as soon as you can, you’ll find yourself with less experience of interest for prospective employers, and less self awareness of what drives you and what you’re good at. One or even two extra years will be a benefit, not a cost.

If everything is easy for you, and you always hear yes, you aren’t taking enough risks. See every opportunity as one of a series of small risks. Many will pay off. Some won’t, but in the long run you’ll come out ahead.

Interview senior people in fields/organizations that interest you while still in university. When it’s clear you’re not currently looking for a job, it’s easier to set up informational interviews to learn from and to be inspired by others. Senior folks are more open to students than they are youngish professionals.

Never stop learning. Read. Listen to podcasts. Watch documentaries. Talk with other smart people. It will make you smarter and more interesting and bring you joy.

Quick tip for self-copy-editing

Editing your own work sucks. Here’s a trick for basic copy editing of your own work, especially things that are missed by spellcheck/grammar check in your word processor.

  1. Make a list words you don’t want in your work (e.g. depending on your clients/audience, you may not want contractions)
    1. can’t
    2. won’t
    3. shouldn’t
    4. there (“There” is generally a lazy word, especially at the begining of sentences)
    5. etc.
  2. Make a list of common word misuses you make. I’m bad with words like “about”, “around”, “regarding” – phrases like “thinking around” vs. “thinking about” vs. “thinking of”.
  3. Do a series of Find and Replaces in your word processor.

These steps help clean things up before sending your work out into the world.

Do Good Better podcast call for questions!

What frank advice do you want about a difficult situation you’re facing relevant to the nonprofit sector/social innovation/social purpose business/general do-gooding? What information have you always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask?

(A few updates have been added, in italics, for clarity).

ME WANT TO HEAR! (instructions below)

After some thinking and chatting I did over March/April, I’ve decided to experiment with podcasting. Drumroll……enter the Do Good Better podcast!

Do Good Better podcast logo 300pxFor those of you who are addicted to podcasts as I am, I’m imagining something like Dan Savage, but for nonprofit sector/social innovation/doing good advice. Start off with a rant, or perhaps a conversation with someone with an interesting opinion. Then dive into a few listener questions. Finish off with listeners’ feedback on advice I’ve given (e.g. additional advice for a question previously shared).

Seriously just listen to one episode of the Savage Lovecast to understand the form (warning: his podcast is about relationships and sex and there is lots of graphic content, definitely NSFW in most workplaces).

To send in a question:

  1. Record yourself asking the question on your phone or computer (I use the “Voice Memos” app that comes on my iPhone).
  2. Start the question with a bit of context (e.g. “Hi Trina, I’m a 3rd year university student studying Psych in Toronto” or “Hi Trina, I’m the executive director of a small arts organization based on the West Coast”) and then just lay out your situation/question. Please don’t include your name. Keep things anonymous.
  3. Nothing is off the table – seriously ask me anything. Swearing even OK if it helps you describe your situation.
  4. Email the question to email@trinaisakson.com with the subject PODCAST QUESTION

Once the podcast gets going, to respond to my responses (i.e. give your own advice to a previous question):

  1. Record yourself sharing the advice. Start your response with a bit of context (e.g. “Hi Trina, this is about the caller in episode 4 who wanted to know more about using Snapchat for their cause” or “Hi Trina, this is about the caller in episode 7 who wanted to transition from banking into the nonprofit sector”) and then just lay out your advice. Keep it succinct.  Please don’t include your name. Keep things anonymous.
  2. Email the recorded response to email@trinaisakson.com with the subject PODCAST RESPONSE

To suggest a topic for a rant or to suggest a guest host:

  1. Email the suggestion to email@trinaisakson.com with the subject PODCAST IDEA

I promise to keep all submissions anonymous. I’m only interested in good questions, not figuring out who’s asking them. Heck, use an anonymous email address if you want.

I don’t promise to use everything I receive or respond to your submission. I don’t promise to do any editing to your submission, so please don’t include any information you wouldn’t want shared publicly. The only editing I might do is for length, if you ramble on too long. I’m not adept at sound editing. Questions to the wrong email address or without the proper subject may be accidentally trashed, so please follow the instructions.

These recordings are for use only for this podcast.