Andrew Barry is a curious learner. He runs Curious Lion, a company that is transforming online education. I invited Andrew on to the podcast because we both published our conversations with Ali Abdaal on the same day. It was a sign from the universe. In this conversation, we spoke about what most online courses do wrong, building in public, and how to not get distracted by the latest shiny object on the internet.
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 the popular Blue Yeti… but I do not recommend it.
Here are the USB mics he recommends:
Here are the XLR mics he recommends:
To understand the difference between USB and XLR mics, check out this video from James.
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.
Here is my current setup:
- 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.
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.
Over the past year, I’ve cultivated an awareness of my actions, thoughts, and behaviors.
And more recently, in the past week or two, I’ve noticed myself moving closer to darkness.
I’ve been less likely to complete the hard stuff on my to-do list. Less likely to lean into the uncomfortable tasks and conversations. Less likely to do what I’ve needed to do.
In the past, I would’ve ignored this. “It’s not a big deal,” I would’ve told myself.
Thankfully, because I’ve cultivated this awareness, I know what this calls for.
Tomorrow, January 21, I will start Phase I of the Live Hard Program.
I don’t know of a better program to get myself moving closer towards the light.
Here’s what I will be responsible for doing every day for the next 30 days:
- 2 45-minute workouts (1 outside)
- 10 pages reading
- Progress photo
- Follow diet (real, whole foods)
- 1-gallon water
- 5-minute cold shower
- 3 additional power list tasks (8 total)
- 10 minutes visualization
In addition, I will start doing periscope live streams at 6pm to talk about the journey.
See you tomorrow.
I’ve been a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk for 11 years.
I was watching him review wines 8 years before I could legally drink. Not because I loved wine. But because I loved how much Gary cared about the customer. How entertaining he was. How much he valued doing the right thing.
And on December 4, 2020 – just 72 days after launching my podcast – Gary Vaynerchuk agreed to come on my podcast.
But the truth is… I didn’t do much of anything at all.
The people who made this happen are guys like Logan, Aaron, another Aaron, Wiz of Ecom, and everyone else who engaged Gary enough to get him interested. Random people on the internet that I’ve never met, but who support what I’m about. I’m grateful for that.
So here’s a breakdown of the sequence of events that happened before Gary said, “fuck it, I’m in.”
Let’s look at the full timeline:
This was the first tweet in the whole thread. I had no expectations. I was just throwing out people whose work I respect and admire. When I wrote this tweet out the first time, I actually had Gary at 4 on the list, but I figured he was the most likely to see the tweet of the five (he’s the most active on Twitter) …so I made him 1.
This tweet from Aaron triggered a thought. “Oh, I’ve been a fan of Gary from the Wine Library TV days. Let me share this article I wrote about him back in 2009.”
I was initially going to share it as a reply, but I figured some people who follow me might also it.
I went to archive.org. Found the old blog post I wrote about Gary in 2009 and tweeted it.
Gary liked that tweet, which I assume led him to follow me.
When I saw that news, I quickly screenshotted and tweeted it. That tweet took off (at the time of this writing it has over 250,000 impressions).
And from there, it was out of my hands.
People smashed the replies. I couldn’t keep up. Many people asked when the podcast with us was going to happen.
As I was following the thread, what got my interest was some people criticizing Gary. That’s what got Gary’s attention.
He started to engage with people who didn’t see eye-to-eye with him.
And then Logan seized the opportunity.
Check out the full thread:
Overall, an incredibly cool day that I’ll never forget.
A sincere thank you is owed to all involved.
Looking forward to recording and releasing this bad boy!
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself way back in your first few days as a creator, what would it be?
Figured I’d share my answer with you as well:
Set an internal goal. Something you can control. Write 100 articles, record 100 podcasts, publish 100 videos.
That doesn’t mean ignore external feedback. Just the opposite. Try to improve your creations. Reach out for help. Ask someone what they think. Improve.
When you publish your first piece as a creator, you’ve embarked on a journey.
Enjoy every step.
Over the past two days, I’ve had three incredible conversations.
What signifies a great conversation?
They leave you better than you were before. You have more energy. New insights. The world twinkles a little bit clearer.
That’s why I created my podcast (to have incredible conversations).
So it made me wonder… What exactly creates a great conversation?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it comes down to two main factors:
- A shared energy.
- A shared knowledge.
My world is a little bit brighter because of it.
This is Day 8 of 14 of my daily writing challenge.