Here we go, listeners!
Last night, just after midnight, I launched my own podcast, The Modern Artrepreneur. As “easy” as it has been to produce Ben’s podcast, MAD Potential, it is completely different being on the other side of the microphone. As this was my first personal venture into podcasting, there was quite a bit on my mind before I hit the POST button. Are people even going to listen?
I had a surprising amount of anxiety about the whole podcast thing, mostly because of my voice. Back in high school, I broke my nose playing lacrosse. This, in addition to having an already deviated septum, resulted in my admittedly nasally-sounding voice. I could have gotten my nose fixed (and maybe I will one day) but I didn’t so for now, I’m stuck sounding like there’s a wooden clothes pin on my nose (it’s really not that bad, I promise. I’m just self-conscious.). I can’t tell you how many takes I deleted before I got to the one that didn’t make my skin crawl… and truth be told, it still kinda does. I sound so flat and unenthusiastic, which is totally not true! (Also, contrary to what the cut may sound like, I recorded my audio in complete silence. There is no attempt to “rap” my narrative over the music.)
One thing I never considered was how difficult it is to actually say “Modern Artrepreneur” without sounding like you’ve got a mouth full of marbles. Good thing it’s the name of my show!
The structure of this podcast is going to be a little different then the MAD Potential podcast. The Modern Artrepreneur podcast will be a serious look at my creative and business process, accented with interviews and discussions with friends and professionals. For the first episode (not just the teaser) I interviewed my best friend (and former business partner) Ward Sorrick and my mother, amazing mosaic artist Merilee Eaton. I’ve got over 2.5 hours of audio from those two interviews alone, but I only chose a few golden minutes from each to include in the teaser. You’ll hear more from these interviews coming up this season, but the moments of honest humanity in these clips were too good to hold onto for later. I can’t wait to hear what other juicy nuggets I unearth through more interviews.
I’ve already written out the narratives for the first few episodes; they are six pages each, but after that, the creative process hasn’t really happened yet. Some discussions will be easier than others, such as the card game discussion, because the game continues to be developed on a daily basis. But other topics, like discussing the e-book, may be a little more difficult to go into, which is why this podcast will be an experiment in storytelling and podcasting. One of the things you can look forward to this season will be “readings” of my various writings during the writing episodes, introduction of new card games during the card game episodes, and recommendations on other podcasts during the podcasting episodes. I’m looking to provide a more enriched listening experience than just me, in front of my computer microphone, going on about my struggling art. That sounds terrible!
The most important thing I’ve learned from podcasting thus far is “build a community, not just an audience.” I check Ben’s statistics everyday, and I’m sure I’ll now be checking my own numbers on the daily, too. Subscribers may sound like an important number, but I’ve learned a majority of those are actually “bots,” scanning the topics and charts, subscribing to podcasts. A few days later, they fall off. We could have a swing of 60+ subscribers overnight, only to have them fall off bunch by bunch over the next few days, only resulting in a few real listeners. The critical number to focus on is downloads. These establish that the content has been delivered to someone’s device, ready to be played. It’s the individual episode downloads that get me excited!
I launched the podcast teaser first, a few days before the first episode is set to launch. I did this because I need the lead time for iTunes to approve the podcast and start listing it in the podcast marketplace. I am going up against some really spectacular podcasts in the Business > Careers category, but I’m also listed in Arts, and a few other general categories. With over 250,000 podcasts vying for the top of the charts, I’m not holding my breathe for a top spot… not yet. But if you’re new to podcasts, or looking for another podcast until Serial comes back, consider listening to The Modern Artrepreneur on the Mystery Tin Podcast Network.
I think you’ll dig it.