Alan Stein Jr. is a coach, who has worked with and been around some of the greatest basketball players in the world (like Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry). In this conversation, we spoke about those experiences, how quarantine unexpectedly helped his speaking skills, and Jesse Itzler’s Hell on a Hill.
The most common question I receive:
“How do I start a podcast?”
I usually pass along these four links:
- How to Start a Podcast in 2019 by Nat Eliason
- How I Produce a Podcast by David Perell
- How to use Garageband for podcasting with Pat Flynn by Pat Flynn
- How I Built a #1 Ranked Podcast by Tim Ferriss
I launched my podcast in one month using everything above.
As I write this, I’ve been podcasting for six months. So, I am absolutely not an expert (so take everything mentioned below with a grain of salt). But sometimes it can be helpful to learn from those who are just 1-2 steps ahead of you in the journey.
Here are some common questions I receive:
Why did I start a podcast?
There were a three main reasons:
- I put out this tweet, which asked if anyone wanted to talk on the phone. The conversations were helpful and rewarding. I thought it was a shame these weren’t recorded and published to the world because they could potentially help someone else too.
- I wanted to talk to my favorite authors, particularly some folks who had directly changed my life with their work (like Gay Hendricks and Kamal Ravikant).
- Three different friends separately suggested I start a podcast within a matter of six months.
Why name the podcast after your own name?
I wanted to give myself flexibility on topics and areas.
My interests will change and develop.
Does that mean growth will be slower?
Yes, most likely.
I’m not “the fitness guy” or “the mindfulness guy” or “the reading guy” or “the writing guy.” It would probably be easier for people to place myself into a category.
Most people have no idea who “Danny Miranda” is and have no idea if they want to devote an hour of their life (or more) to hearing a podcast from him.
And that’s okay – more on that later.
The second reason is I didn’t want to waste too much time on the name. (Who knows, this could have been an epic mistake.) Legendary podcaster John Lee Dumas actually said in a Clubhouse room that he recommends against naming the show after your own name if you don’t have a pre-existing audience. Tim Ferriss or Joe Rogan can name their podcast after their own name because they already have a huge audience. But for newer podcasts, he recommends starting with a topic area (like Entrepreneurs on Fire).
Maybe John’s right.
Maybe it doesn’t matter.
Time will tell.
What was your initial goal?
Publish 100 episodes.
I decided I could stop after I released 100 episodes, but I needed to give the process a fair shot to figure out if I enjoyed it.
Why do you post 3x/week?
I started recording on August 23, 2020. I was initially planning on releasing one episode per week, but by the time I was set to launch on September 23. I had 20 episodes in the backlog.
If I decided to release episodes one per week, listeners wouldn’t get a chance to hear these episodes until the following year.
I also realized how much I enjoyed having these conversations… so I committed to 3x/week.
And lastly, I realized if I wanted more people to check it out, I would have to stand out in some way. Since most podcasts don’t commit to three episodes per week, it’s a good way to let potential guests and the audience know you are serious about the craft. Most people won’t listen to every episode anyway, so I figured it’s better to lean towards creating more than creating less.
Nicolas Cole once said if you want to be the best in the field, you need to look at what the best are doing. He was saying it about writing, but it’s also true about podcasting.
If you look at people who are crushing the podcast game (Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Chris Williamson), they publish new episodes at least 3x/week.
So maybe there’s something to that.
Are you making money from this?
No (as of March 5, 2021).
Although I can see myself making money from the podcast in the future, the podcast is currently unmonetized completely.
How have you managed to get incredible guests?
I have been blessed to get some really incredible people on the podcast. Gary Vaynerchuk, Navy SEAL Mark Divine, Brian Clark, Gay Hendricks, David Perell, Dave Nemetz, Zuby, Ed Latimore, and many, many others.
Mainly by asking.
And it turns out you don’t actually need an audience either.
My friend Pod of Jake started his podcast with little-to-no following and anonymous. He has managed to get guests like Vitalik Buterin, 3LAU, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Keith Rabois, and Anthony Pompliano in his first 25 episodes.
Let it be known: getting incredible guests does not mean people will listen to your podcast or your podcast will win long term.
It only means it will likely be easier to get more incredible guests in the future.
What is your process for reaching out to guests?
I tend to follow a three step framework that has proved enormously helpful:
- Give the guest a genuine compliment and explain how they’ve impacted my life through their content.
- Introduce the podcast credentials and previous guests (if you don’t have any credentials, list out the mission)
- Give them an out and explain you don’t expect a response
Also, follow-up with potential guests. If they didn’t respond, it doesn’t mean they hate you… it just means they’re busy people.
What gear do you use?
I started recording with a Blue Yeti.
Once I realized I was in this for the long term – that I was enjoying the process and that I was going to continue beyond 100 episodes – I upgraded my studio:
- Shure SM7B ($399)
- Audient iD14 ($299)
- Cloudlifter ($149)
- Logitech c920x Pro HD Webcam ($85)
- Neewer LED Lights ($45)
This was a significant investment for me, but after (1) realizing I was going to be doing this long-term, (2) hearing multiple podcasters talk about the importance of audio quality, and (3) deciding to post video versions on YouTube, I decided to invest in my own future future.
Why have you started posting the conversations on YouTube?
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
I didn’t record on video for the first ~40 episodes because I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by the process. There was a lot to learn with audio.
But video is powerful.
It’s a way for people to sample the show in smaller bites. I’m still learning (have only been doing it for the past month), but believe this will be a source of discovery in 1-3 years.
What do you do to prepare for an interview?
When I was just starting, I didn’t realize how important prep was to the whole process. I just figured… well, Joe Rogan just shows up there and has a conversation, how hard could that be?
As it turns out, incredibly difficult.
For many of my guests, the research process begins long before I actually invite them on. In many cases, I’ve been following these people for years or months before I actually sit down with them.
The benefits of doing your research in advance:
- Your guest appreciates it
- Your audience appreciates it
- You get a sense of direction about where you want to take the conversation
So what do I practically do?
I don’t always do each of these… but the more research I do, the better the interview is:
- Read and watch everything I can get my hands on from them
- Listen to them on previous podcasts
- Google their name, go deep into the search results or the “News”
- Go through their old tweets using Twitter Advanced Search (sort by favorites)
- Think about what life is like in their shoes
What tips do you have for interviewing?
All that research you did to prepare?
Well… don’t get too attached to it.
If you listen and don’t interrupt, you’ll be ahead of most.
From there, it’s about coming up with follow-up questions and getting lost in the conversation. If you don’t have a follow-up question, that’s when you lean on your research.
The best interviews happen when I am…
- High energy
- Well researched
A 5-minute meditation helps me get back to this place.
What’s been the biggest benefit of the podcast?
By far, without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest benefit has been an expanded network.
As of this writing, I’ve recorded 80 episodes with some of the most brilliant people in the world.
Podcasting is a way for you to ask someone smart and brilliant to hang out with you for an hour. As a result, you get smarter.
The space is crowded, does the world need another podcast?
Before I launched my podcast, this was the one thing that potentially held me back. It seemed like everybody had a podcast.
What good would one more do?
But the truth is you don’t create a podcast for the world.
You create a podcast for yourself.
This project has forced me to learn, expanded my network, and allowed me to ask questions to some of my heroes.
Like anything, what you get out of it will be directly proportional to what you put into it. If you’re willing to put your heart and soul into your podcast, the world needs to hear your voice.
Enjoyed this? Check out my podcast – The Danny Miranda Podcast – to hear interviews with people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Navy SEAL Mark Divine, and David Perell.
Blog of Jake is an anonymous writer and podcaster. In this conversation, we spoke about quitting a job in investment banking, his life’s purpose, and self-awareness.
Justin C. Scott is a high-performance coach and writer. In this conversation, we spoke about creation, his meditation practice, and living a life of intentionality.
David Perell is a creator, writer, entrepreneur, teacher, and student (of life). In this conversation, we spoke about his upbringing, why he loves becoming friends with older people, and some of the people who have influenced David’s journey (Tyler Cowen, Casey Neistat, and Gary Vaynerchuk).