The Podcast Discovery Show is almost like a book club for podcasts. It’s 3 guys who love to listen and talk about podcast.
Kirk shares what makes a great podcast, the need to produce and create, and developing relationships and engagement with other Podcasters.
“This is one of the favorite side projects I’ve ever done. It’s as rewarding as anything I’ve ever done as an entrepreneur. We haven’t been making any money on it at all. We havenâ€™t even covered our hosting costs. But the reward that you have in building relationships, making a structure where every week we get together and we talk…It’s been great… It’s been super rewarding and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Tell us about the Podcast Discovery show.
KIRK GIFFIN: So the Podcast Discovery show, itâ€™s kind of hard to do a later pitch on it for some reason. We always try to say itâ€™s a review show, but we donâ€™t really review podcasts because that kind of connotes that weâ€™re going to give negative reviews we just want to find a podcast that we like. I have two other hosts that host with me and they pick a podcast and then I pick a podcast and we talk about it. Itâ€™s kind of like a book club, but for a podcast. Thatâ€™s the best way to put it is we have a recommendation every week for each of us. So three recommendations, and then we listen to them that week and we talk about them the next week. We get off track a lot and we just have a great time. Itâ€™s three guys, talking about podcasts and we love it.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: I listened and you guys really seem to be having a lot of fun doing this podcast and when I was also listening, I was waiting for negativity to come up and I was like: â€śthese guys really like these podcasts because thereâ€™s nothing really terribly critical, like nothing terribly negative.â€ť Do you find that a bit of a challenge?
KIRK GIFFIN: Sometimes there have been some podcasts that maybe one of my friends have recommended on the show and I listen to them like: â€śman, this is not my favourite.â€ť But, most of the time, itâ€™s not content as much as itâ€™s just like: â€śitâ€™s not really interesting to me. Itâ€™s not in my wheelhouse.â€ť Whatâ€™s cool about the show is, we all have three different kind of taste. I really like funny stuff, I really like narrative podcasts and Josh, one of my co-hosts, really like interview podcasts and tech stuff and Zack likes the music or movies. So we cover the whole spectrum. In fact, this next episode that weâ€™re coming out with, Josh recommended something about Kanye West. And Iâ€™m like: â€śOh God, are you serious?â€ť Clearly, he loves Kanye West, so Iâ€™m like: â€śNo, come on!â€ť But I think we went about it the right way or we didnâ€™t really tear the podcast down, we just more like: â€śMan, I just really donâ€™t like that guy.â€ť
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Kirk, what makes a great podcast to you?
KIRK GIFFIN: One of the main things to me, and thatâ€™s kind of what I wanted to convey with our show and I hope that you got that, seem like you did, is I wanted to sound like the person thatâ€™s putting on the show, is having a good time. That theyâ€™re enjoying it. Because if that bleeds through to the listener, I know as a listener myself, that some of my favourite podcasts are ones where, the hosts are laughing, you can tell theyâ€™re having fun, theyâ€™re having a great time. And you feel like youâ€™re a part of this group; youâ€™re a part of this party that theyâ€™re having, this good time that theyâ€™re having. So for me, thatâ€™s the most important things. That you could tell that the host is enjoying what theyâ€™re doing.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Do you have a particular favourite podcast?
KIRK GIFFIN: Oh man, thatâ€™s hard to ask man. You canâ€™t ask me that. I have too many. I really like Lore. One of my favourite podcasts that Iâ€™ve listened to religiously for like, 6 years is Snap Judgement. I know itâ€™s a big podcast, but I love storytelling and I grew up with my dad being this great story teller and he would always tell me stories of when he was in the military or hunting trips or something like that and I would always be riveted. And thatâ€™s kind of what this show is, is they have great Story Tellers come on there and tell stories and so thatâ€™s one of my favourite ones. And Loreâ€™s kind of similar. Iâ€™m sure that youâ€™ve heard of Lore. Itâ€™s that horror genre, but itâ€™s more of a history type of show. Those are probably two of my favourites.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: How does the Podcast Discovery show work? Because I that you had two different types of episode. You have a â€śwarm upâ€ť episode and then youâ€™d have, seems like, a â€śregular typeâ€ť of episode. Whatâ€™s the difference there?
KIRK GIFFIN: Okay. So, thatâ€™s kind of a funny story. We would get together every week. We record in person, almost every week. Weâ€™ve recorded, I think, long lines, one time and so we go to either my house, or we go to Joshâ€™s house and basically we sit around, have a glass of whisky or two, and talk about stuff as friends and then warm up. Then we would start recording podcasts and weâ€™re like: â€śweâ€™re wasting a lot of this time that weâ€™re together, not recording.â€ť And so we weâ€™re just like: â€śletâ€™s just record the crap that we talk about beforehand, and put it out there, see if people will want it. And I donâ€™t know if they do or not, but weâ€™re putting it out there.â€ť
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Do you get stats?
KIRK GIFFIN: Actually weâ€™ve gotten just as many listeners to the â€śWarm upâ€ť as we have proper.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: As you been doing this show, I think I remember you started in March, is that correct?
KIRK GIFFIN: Iâ€™m not sure, maybe.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: I think I saw March, I think.
KIRK GIFFIN: We just recorded episode 34. So it sounds close.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Okay. So do you find that, as you keep going along with the Podcasts Discovery show, and youâ€™re listening to a lot of podcasts, are you finding that youâ€™re becoming a little but more analytical with these podcasts? Do you feel that you are kind of becoming an expert in podcasting?
KIRK GIFFIN: I definitely, specifically Iâ€™m a sound side, because I donâ€™t know and I knew nothing about â€śsoundâ€ť stuff before I started recording the podcasts and originally I was doing the editing and everything. So I had to learn it all. I heard every little thing and Iâ€™m very hard on myself and so listening specifically to your own voice when I wasnâ€™t used to it, it took me weeks to get used to that. I was learning how to pick out the stuff out of our show and so now when I listen to other people shows I kind of be like: â€śman, I would cut that out.â€ť Or, you know there's a flipping siren going off in the background: â€śjust wait, you couldâ€™ve just waited and then re said that.â€ť I had a siren going off in the background. You know, something like that. Little things like that I definitely pick out more. The content is what I really focus on. If they're saying something that's great, that's what I focus on. But there is some shows that the audio quality is not great and I can hear that now. Before, I really wouldn't bother me and it still doesn't really bother me, but I can pick it out a lot more now than I could before.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Would you say the ideal listener to your podcast is the one that is maybe looking for a new podcast to listen to?
KIRK GIFFIN: For sure, I mean, there's been so many times that Iâ€™ve either gone on Reddit read it on Facebook or Twitter and people are like: â€śhey, I'm looking for a good podcast.â€ť And I'll give them a recommendation and I'll be like: â€śif you want to listen to our show, because we literally will give you a recommendation, three recommendations every single week. So, if you're looking for stuff to listen to, we're doing all the hard work listening to literally tens of episodes a week, different shows, new shows that we never even listen to before a lot of times and then giving you the best ones that weâ€™ve found.â€ť And it's an adventure, like I said, it's like a book club. So especially if you're listening along with us and you know what we're talking about is just makes it so fun.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: How about engagement? I'm guessing here that the people that youâ€™re covering, you reviewing their podcast, are they talking back to you?
KIRK GIFFIN: My constantly been reviewing have been super awesome, with engaging us back. We've been making really good relationships. Tonight after we do this one, I'm actually going to be on one of their shows. They asked me to be on their show it's called The Wild Pitch. And they just hitch these silly ideas. They basically pull things out of a hat, kind of like what you do at the end of your show. They pull three different things out of a hat and you have to pitch like you're on Shark Tank and it's a great premise of a show. And so, we've made some great relationships, amazing relationship with some Aussies down in Australia with their show which is so cool about podcasting. I'm talking to you in Canada and I'm in central Florida making you as jealous as I can about my weather.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: So I put my sweater on.
KIRK GIFFIN: So I mean, podcasting is just so cool and to be able to make these relationships with other podcasters has been great. They've been great.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: It's really mind blowing actually. The relationships you can have with people all over the world simply from doing a podcast. It's really wonderful. You sent me a little promo clip so, why don't we play that and we'll get right back.
KIRK GIFFIN: Alright, sounds great.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Alright, fantastic. Kirk, what made you decide to do this podcast? How was this idea born?
KIRK GIFFIN: So I've always kind of been an entrepreneur. I own my own business for almost ten years as a farmer and even when doing that, I had little side businesses, we had a fruit stand. I would do other little things on the side to just keep my mind busy and we had a really bad year on the farm and had to go work for other farm. So that's why I'm working on the research side now. But I'm not working for myself anymore. I'm not producing something myself like I was when I was a farmer. So I felt I had that itch, I have to produce something. I have to put something out there of mine that has my fingerprint on it. So me and my buddy Josh, we would get together once a week, we would just go to a bar, have one or two drinks and just talk and I'm like: â€śman we're just having these awesome discussions and we're talking about really cool stuff. We should do a podcast.â€ť And he's like: â€śyeah, listen to one or two.â€ť He was actually not a big podcast listener at the time, he only listens to like two or three. And I'm like: â€śwell, let's figure something out and let's make this happen. Let's just do it.â€ť This was actually not our first idea of the podcast discovery show. We started another show where we were actually going to interview homeless people and like tell their stories. We actually did one of the first interviews. It was actually very interesting but it was just so labour intensive. He has a kid, I have two kids and we both work full time. At the time, I was working seventy to ninety hour weeks and there's just like not feasible for us to be able to do a show like that where you have to go off site to meet people and to interview them and then do as much editing as you can. So we landed on this and I listen to a lot of podcasts on the farm. I'm like: â€śwhy don't we just, you listen to a bunch of podcasts too and we'll start talking about him. And that'll be kind of our starting point is just talking about other podcasts.â€ť And so, that's how it started and it was funny because he's like: â€śI donâ€™t want to commit to this long term.â€ť He's like: â€śI'll commit to six episodes and then if everything goes good, then we'll keep going and we got past the six episodes and he didn't say anything, he just kept going and here we are as brothers and the two of us at episode 34. So it's â€śfull steam aheadâ€ť I guess.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: He got the bug.
KIRK GIFFIN: Yeah, for sure.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Did you that when you were in this transition from having your business and you wanted to produce something, so you decided to use that creativity in a podcast, did that fill that void?
KIRK GIFFIN: Oh yeah. This is the thing I put in my notes somewhere on here. This is one of the favorite side projects I've ever done. It's as rewarding as anything I've ever done as an entrepreneur. We haven't been making any money on it at all. We havenâ€™t even covered our hosting costs. But the reward that you have in building relationships, making a structure where every week we get together and we talk. And just having that scheduled time even just as friends and we're just recording it and throughout the week we talk about it. It's been great and the people that we've met, like being able to meet you and I hope that maybe we'll talk again after this, we can be friends and we can go on from here. It's been super rewarding and I've loved every minute of it. We talk about it from before. We look forward to when we're going to record. All week long, we look forward to the next time we're going to record and a lot of people don't have that in their lives, to look forward to anything much less something they can look forward to every week and we have that opportunity and we're trying to capitalize on it.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Does it almost feel like it gives you a little bit more purpose?
KIRK GIFFIN: Oh yeah. We're just entertaining people and that's another reason we didn't want to be a straight up review podcast because to be honest there's so much negativity in the world out there. We didn't want to bring any more negativity to it. We want to be a shining light of just â€śsit back, relax, enjoy the show and have funâ€ť. We're going to have fun, because if we don't have fun, we're not going to keep doing it and so we want people to also have fun with us and then they'll continue to listen because they're having fun and enjoying it as well.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Have you learned anything about yourself, Kirk since you've been doing this podcast?
KIRK GIFFIN: I definitely learned to be able to listen my own voice because like I said, the first three weeks, it was like I just could not listen to my own voice, it drove me crazy. I don't know why, it's just one of those things. When you talk, it sounds one way, but then when you listen back to your recorded voice like: â€śI really sound like that?â€ť And that was one thing I learned something about myself. I can be really open, I learned that like I don't really feel the pressure to hold back a lot and sometimes my friends will be like after the recording is done: â€śyou want to cut that out?â€ť I'm like: â€śnah I don't care man. I'm not going to apologize for who I am, it's who we are.â€ť So Iâ€™ve realized that I'm pretty open with who I am and like I said, to be able listen to my own voice.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: It's kind of liberating though, isn't it? When you just let it go and it's like: â€śOkay, it's out there in the world.â€ť
KIRK GIFFIN: Exactly.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: â€śThere's nothing there to edit or delete, that's me. It feels good to share my uniqueness.â€ť
KIRK GIFFIN: Exactly, like I said, I'm a farmer that really likes podcasts or tech and stuff like that and it doesn't really make sense. It doesn't really go in the same world a lot of times, there's not a lot of overlap, but we all have different things that we like and I don't have to fit in a box and none of us have to fit in a box, we can make our own box. You know I mean?
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Yeah. Well, it's an overwhelming positive experience for you and the podcast. Is there anything that you struggle with?
KIRK GIFFIN: We do sometimes really wish that we had more engagement with our listeners. We check the numbers, they're there, but for some reason weâ€™ve been hitting that brick wall of trying to get the engagement with the listeners. Like I said, we've had a lot of engagement with the people we've reviewed and recommended. However, we haven't had a lot of engagement with the listener and for some reason we've had that barrier and trying to just figure that out. That's the only issue we've had so far, I would say.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Iâ€™m sorry, I didn't ask you, Short stories with Captain Kirk, your other podcast I was listening to a bit of it today and is that something you're continuing with?
KIRK GIFFIN: Yeah, now one takes a lot more time because I have to read a lot of short stories because I've been very selective on which one I'm going to read and I've read a bunch since the last one I recorded and I just haven't found the right one yet. And I even said that when I started that show, I'm not going to put us schedule on it. It's going to be when I find the right story, I'll read it. That's how I'm going to do it. So it is continuing. I actually texted my buddy Zach today, because he's a writer as well and I'm like: â€śyou know any good short stories that you've written?â€ť Because he writes really good ones. I feel like he's not as confident with them, as he should be because they're really good. So I'm like: â€śSo, you got any good ones that you've written lately?â€ť And then he's like: â€ślet me look into it.â€ť So I'm hoping to get one from him soon because I trust his work is good.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: What advice do you have Kirk for the podcaster or the aspiring podcaster or someone who's even co-hosting with two others?
KIRK GIFFIN: The Podcaster, I would say give me advice because I'm new to this. Now, the â€śNew aspiring podcasterâ€ť, I would say, â€śjust do it, just startâ€ť. There's going to be a million reasons for you to not start and there's always going to be the next reason not to do it, but just do it. It's like you said: â€śthe first few episodes are going to be badâ€ť. They just are. You canâ€™t get over that. It's just going to happen so just get them out of the way and then move forward. Find where your bumps in the road are and start spew them out. That's the best way to do it. Don't worry about your equipment or anything just start with what you got and go.
Alexander Laurin is the Podcasterâ€™s Coach, and the Author of the upcoming â€śBook of Podcastingâ€ť, due January 2018. He hosts the meta-podcast â€śThe Podcasterâ€™s Lifeâ€ť. He focuses his Podcast and Coaching practice on the lives of fellow Podcasters. He is the worldâ€™s first authentic Podcasterâ€™s Coach, a Certified Podcasterâ€™s & Professional Life Coach with a membership to the International Coaches Federation. Alexander is a proponent of the effectiveness of podcasting as a tool for business & career growth, happiness, meaning, and fulfillment.
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