Starting a Salesforce Podcast with Michael Rose

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This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re joined by Michael Rose, Director of Solution Engineering at Salesforce and host of the Aftershow, a podcast about technology. We learn the ins and outs of podcasting with two pros who have been there and seen everything.

Join us as we talk about how to figure out what to talk about on your podcast, what questions you need to ask about your show before you make it, and why iteration is so important.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Michael Rose.

How Michael got started in the podcasting biz.

“I’ve been at Salesforce for seven years, which is kind of astonishing to me,” Michael says, “and my entire career has been in the Solution Engineering organization.” This team does discovery and works with customers to help them find a Salesforce solution that fits with their needs. He runs a team of Presales Technical Architects that works to make sure everything under the hood makes sense for a particular customer. “As I say whenever asks me about Solution Engineering at Salesforce, this is the best job anywhere, ever, and you should do it because it is great,” he says.

Before Salesforce, Michael was an editor at the Unofficial Apple Weblog, where he hosted a weekly live podcast. “It was a tightrope walk of extreme proportions,” he says. One unique thing about his show was that they were able to take live calls from listeners as they were recording, which made every episode a new adventure. These days, he continues that work on the Aftershow, a podcast focused on the intersection between technology and modern life.

Tips from the pros.

So what’s Michael’s advice if you’re thinking of hopping on the podcast train? “It’s a lot easier now than it used to be,” he says, “I think the part that has always been the lighting-in-bottle piece of it is figuring it out what it is you want to discuss.” If you’re listening to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, you’re probably interested in, well, Salesforce, and perhaps wondering how you could possibly one-up us. For one, you can’t. For another, Michael’s advice is to figure out your specific angle. “Start with the structure you want to try for, and then iterate,” he says.

When it comes to the technical requirements you need to get started, the bar is pretty low. You need something a little better than your phone to record the audio, and then there are several options out there to do the editing. If you want to do interviews it gets a little more complicated, but it’s still relatively simple. One of Michael’s biggest pieces of advice is that if you like the way a certain podcast sounds, reach out to the creators and find out what gear they use. People love to nerd out, and most are more accommodating than you might think.

Mike and Micahel (Mike2) have a lot of specific advice about gear, publishing platforms, and the mistakes they’ve made along the way, so be sure to listen to the full episode.

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Full Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you become an awesome admin. I’m Mike Gerholdt and joining me this week is Michael Rose. He is @miketrose on Twitter. Don’t worry, I’ll include the link in the show notes. And well we’re going to talk about starting a Salesforce podcast. Michael’s a podcaster himself, and I thought it’d be great to connect with him and talk about how we can help you start your own Salesforce Admin podcast. So with that, let’s get Mike on the podcast. So Michael, welcome to the podcast.

Michael Rose: Thank you very much, sir. It’s a pleasure to be here, and we’ve been talking about doing this for a while, and I’m glad we’re actually doing it. It’s awesome.

Mike Gerholdt: I won’t say we’ve been talking about it for five years, but we’ve been talking about it for five years. But so, in all honesty, we actually struck up I believe one of the first conversations was at Salesforce World Tour in New York. You had had a podcast. I’ve got a podcast, and I forget where we ran into each other. Probably at a demo booth.

Michael Rose: Yeah, that sounds likely. It was either a demo booth or it was, I think it might have been back behind the scenes. If you’ve been to World Tour, many of the listeners have been to World Tour, you see those large, black drapes.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: Setting the boundary of the exhibit area and behind that pipe and drape is usually a bunch of tables and chairs and catering and AV equipment and also-

Mike Gerholdt: People frantically checking email.

Michael Rose: Yeah, there’s usually a small employee area, and I think that is, either there or in Boston. It was either New York or Boston where I think I went up. I introduced myself or vice versa, but yeah and it was very much that conversation of, “This is a good idea. We should talk about this.”

Mike Gerholdt: We should totally do a podcast, so Michael, for those of you that haven’t met you, so this is the fun thing. This is one of those times where I think more people know about you than know about you. But let’s start off with, what do you do at Salesforce? And maybe how we ran into each other at the event, and we’ll start there.

Michael Rose: Sure, we’ll start there. I’ve been at Salesforce now, it’ll be seven years in April, which is astonishing to me. My entire career at Salesforce has been in the solution engineering organization, so technical pre-sales, the SE’s, many of the admins who are listening and the customers who are listening know that the SE is the person who accompanies your account executive and often does the demo. Does a demo with Salesforce or Salesforce technologies. Does some discovery to understand what it is you’re trying to do with your Salesforce, and then helps you mold the Salesforce solutions to your will as you’re approaching either getting a product or getting a new product or expanding your footprint or whatever. And I’ve had a number of different roles in solutions engineering. Currently I run a team of pre-sales technical architects. So these are folks who formerly were known as platform SE’s. They’re focused on the undergirding and the structural underpinnings of the Salesforce platform.

Michael Rose: We talk a lot about integration. We talk a lot about security. We talk a lot about application development. We talk a lot about the ways you can customize and extend Salesforce. The way Salesforce products and clouds connect to one another and all that good stuff. And yeah, this is my second year running this particular team which covers platform and technical architecture for our small and medium business customers, and I’m based in New York. And as I say whenever anybody asks me about solution engineering at Salesforce, this is the best job anywhere ever and you should do it because it is great.

Mike Gerholdt: I would agree, and we have admin evangelist, LeeAnne Rimel, used to be a solution engineer.

Michael Rose: Yeah, and a lot of folks who have been SE’s, a lot of folks who are admins become SE’s. A lot of folks who are SE’s become customer admins. It’s a great way to get to understand the platform and get to understand Salesforce from the inside out because you get to hear from customers all the time about the interesting things that they are doing with Salesforce.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely. Now in a previous life, which is how I think many people might or might not know you, you used to have I believe a podcast and a blog.

Michael Rose: Those are both true statements. Prior to, well it’s overlapping somewhat with my time at Salesforce, I was an editor at a website called The Unofficial Apple Weblog, TUAW, that was owned by AOL actually. AOL, hashtag still a thing. But AOL bought a set of blogs at a blog company called Weblogs Inc., and that included In Gadget and Download Squad, and Autoblog and a bunch of other sites, including TUAW. And I worked there for seven, eight, nine years as a quasi-freelancer, but I became and editor and got to meet a lot of amazing people in the technology world and in the Apple and Mac ecosystems specifically. And while I was there, while I was working on the blog, we also had a weekly live podcast, which was an exercise in a tightrope walk of extreme proportions. We used a platform called TalkShoe, which was, still exists. It had a Java based client and it was-

Mike Gerholdt: Oh.

Michael Rose: … very finicky and didn’t always work the way you wanted, but it had one unique value proposition, which was as the podcaster you could, people could call in live. They could either use the client on their desktop or they could call in via a phone number and listen live and if they were on, and they could basically signal that they wanted to talk or they could chat in the client. And we were actually able to bring people into the show in an improvisational fashion live. So we would get Mac and iOS developers and product owners and folks from all over the Apple journalism world. They’d show up on a Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and just whoever happened to show up that week would become part of the conversation, so that was a lot of fun. We did that for about five or six years. But it turned out to be a great way to get to know people.

Mike Gerholdt: Hmm, I’m just thinking of that tightrope of bringing people in live. That’s almost like doing a radio show.

Michael Rose: Yeah, a little bit.

Mike Gerholdt: But it was also, so because I also had that nerd moment when you told me that because when you were following all of that, I would say that the golden decade of Apple when stuff was changing, and you couldn’t keep up with announcements and software and cloud was-

Michael Rose: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean it was just, it was a fun decade. You know? It was also the iPhone too. Like, “Oh.”

Michael Rose: It was.

Mike Gerholdt: “We don’t need a phone with buttons anymore.”

Michael Rose: That was the thing that I joined, when I joined the blog it was in the months leading up to the iPhone announcement. And we had someone at Mac World, my friend Laurie was standing in the overflow room and she was on the phone with me yelling, “They’re calling it iPhone!”

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: It was very heady, and it was a very exciting time to be covering it. I think for me it was a great way to get my ya ya’s out a little bit in terms of my writing work. I had studied writing. I had always wanted to be a journalist, not necessarily a tech journalist, and this was a great way for me to do it. I realized, I think it was October several years, seven years ago now?

Mike Gerholdt: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Michael Rose: It’s not quite, it can’t be 10 years. When Steve Jobs died, realizing at that moment that number one it was the passing of an era but also that that was biggest conversation we were every going to have with our readership. That was the biggest story we were ever going to write. And so, in a way, it was possible to see from that point forward that while there still is a very clear Mac journalist core, and there’s still a lot of conversation, a lot of outlets that are talking about it, it’s not the same as it was.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: It’s more of a brand and less of a fandom I guess is the way I would look at it. And it’s hard for me because I was so and still am quite emotionally invested in that world and that community. But it’s not the same as it once was.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it was-

Michael Rose: Downer. Anyway, moving on.

Mike Gerholdt: Right, but it was, I mean I remember new releases coming out. Right? Like, “Oh I’ve got to go get this.” And you look at my Facebook timeline or something.

Michael Rose: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: You know how memories comes up. And it’s like, “Installing the new Mac OS.” Right? Like that used to be a Tuesday night. Like you were super excited to see because it was-

Michael Rose: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, but it was a fun time when technology had major leaps. Right? And I think we saw that across everywhere. Including Salesforce. You had big leaps in what was possible. And version to version, things felts antiquated. Right? Like you look back, and I look at from having my first iPhone to what I had before it. It was like, “Really? How did I get anything done?” You know? And now even looking at the current iPhone, it’s like, I can literally fly. I’ve flown across the ocean with a phone and never talked to a person. You know, I board a flight, pulled my ticket up on the phone and when I landed I called a car and when I got close to the hotel, I checked in on the phone and then I held my phone up to a lock and the door opened. And it sounds like wizardry.

Michael Rose: It does. And it is. The fact is that it’s hard to put ourselves in the head space of what did we do before we had the thing in our pocket that allowed us to do all these things.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: I mean I’m remembering when it was remarkable to me that I could print out a boarding pass at home.

Mike Gerholdt: Uh-huh (affirmative). Uh-huh (affirmative).

Michael Rose: And now, it’s a whole different animal.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean I remember okay I’m going to take a trip to Chicago, and you’d print out the instructions. Right? Like Yahoo Maps or something. You’d print out the instructions.

Michael Rose: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Turn left here and drive 74 miles and then take this exit and turn. And I remember thinking, “Man, this is great. Like I don’t have to look a map and try and figure out a map and you know. It just tells me where to go.” Of course, you miss the exit and you got to loop back around because there’s no you know…

Michael Rose: You have no alternate. You have no recalculating.

Mike Gerholdt: There’s the other, that was the one exit you could get.

Michael Rose: You and I are of an age, and I’m old enough to remember going down to the AAA office and requesting a Trip Tik, which for some of our younger listeners was a paper map, strip map that AAA would make for you-

Mike Gerholdt: Oh.

Michael Rose: … and they would customize and give you this bound set of little vertical strip maps, which had your route highlighted on the map. And you would flip through them as you went along your way. And that, I mean to me at the time, that was like, “Wow, what a great service they provide.”

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: I doubt they’ve made one for anybody in 10 years.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it’s like, yeah. I just remember stopping, I got one of my scanner bags out which I take to go to races and it’s got scanners and headphones in it. And I was digging through, and I was like, “Where are all these?” And it was all of the paper maps that I had bought for all the states we were going through-

Michael Rose: Oh my gosh.

Mike Gerholdt: … to get to the tracks because it was early 2000. It was just a lot easier to hop in the car and you grab a map. And you always bought a map in that state.

Michael Rose: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: Because that state map was more accurate. You know, like I would be in Michigan, I’d stop at a gas station in Michigan, first one and buy a map because now I’m in Michigan. Oh boy, that’s going to…

Michael Rose: Oh boy.

Mike Gerholdt: All 10 people that are still listening.

Michael Rose: Those are the days.

Mike Gerholdt: Listening to these two old guys talk about walking uphill both ways to school. But one thing I wanted to talk about-

Michael Rose: Ah. These young people don’t know how good they have it.

Mike Gerholdt: I know. Just tap a button and food delivers now. One thing I wanted to get into which is something that I’ve been doing for a while. I love podcasting. I know you’ve had a podcast. I think, do you currently still have a podcast that you do as a hobby on the side?

Michael Rose: I do still have a podcast that I do as a hobby on the side, so my co-host for the TUAW show is a woman named, Kelly Guimont, who is amazing and she lives in Portland, and I live in Brooklyn. So we’re bi-coastal and when our show ended, when the site ended. I forgot to mention that part.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: AOL sunsetted the site. When the show ended, she and I decided that we were going to keep doing something, so we have a show we call the After Show that has, it’s intermittent. I mean I would say we aim for every other week and we hit about every three to four weeks. But it’s very much a conversational show. It’s what’s on our mind. She’s a great pop culture maven. Sometimes I talk about parenting challenges. Sometimes she talks about television shows, and we always come back around to technology so it’s @aftershowpodcast.com. And we do have a number of listeners who are Salesforce employees or former Salesforce employees, so it’s always fun to hear from people on Chatter or in G-Chat internally saying, “Hey, by the way-“

Mike Gerholdt: I heard you on this podcast.

Michael Rose: “… I really enjoyed the show.”

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: It’s like I totally, and that’s the thing is you forget people are listening. That’s the fun of it is that every now and then somebody will say, “Oh, I was so glad you talked about this thing.” It’s like, “Right. I forgot you subscribe.” My nextdoor neighbor subscribes so occasionally we would give him a shout out on the show, and then I would hear from him, it’s like, “Hey, thanks for that.” I was like, “Oh.” I really, really need to keep the audience front and center in my mind.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: But anyway, yes, I do have that show. Aftershowpodcast.com.

Mike Gerholdt: Gotcha. And I wanted to talk about because I feel like there’s always a growing wave in the community of how people can participate and the first thing a lot of people do is a website or a blog, and sometimes they want to go further and start a podcast. So I figured, hey let’s get somebody on that’s podcasted otherwise it’s just Mike talking about it, which got to get somebody more interesting than me on.

Michael Rose: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: So I thought we’d dive into that. You’ve got a podcast. You started them from scratch. If you were to think about starting a podcast today, what would you do?

Michael Rose: Oh wow. Well it’s very much like the transition from AAA Trip Tik’s to Waze and City Map are on your phone. It’s a lot easier now than it used to be. I think there I can count several services that are designed to make it easy, but I mean leaving aside the production and the making of part. I think the part that has always been the lightening in the bottle piece of it is figuring out what is it you want to discuss. What are you so passionate about that you’re going to be compelling for whatever length of time you’re going to be talking about this in people’s ears or in their cars or on their devices? It has to be something that you are interested enough to sustain that conversation over an extended period of time. And many of the professional podcasters I know or people who have become accidental professional podcasters, started their podcast the way you would hear career advice. Is focus on the thing that you love and work outward from there.

Michael Rose: A great example is a guy named Benjamin R. Harrison who I know independently of his podcasting career. I met him before he became a podcaster, but when he started his podcast which is a podcast called Greatest Generation it’s on the Maximum Fun network, and it’s a Star Trek podcast that he started with a friend of his, and it was because he wanted a place where he could talk about the things about Star Trek that he thinks are very funny, and so that’s what they did. And Adam and Ben have this little podcast, and they were sequentially watching all of the episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation, and mocking them with love. That was five years ago. No, that can’t have been five years ago. It has to have been less than like four years ago. And now it’s their full-time gig, like this is a job that they make this podcast.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Michael Rose: And they tour.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Michael Rose: They’re like going out and doing live shows, and it’s been a phenomenon and then there’s two or three spinoff shows from it as well. There’s one called Friendly Fire, which is about war movies. And it had relatively little to do with the production value, although that came along with time, but had everything to do with, this is something I just have to talk about because I can’t not.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: And so that’s job one. Figure out what you want talk about. Now we can assume with the virtual crowd here, a lot of people are going to want to talk about Salesforce, which is great. Figure out your angle. It’s like, what am I going to be talking about? Am I going to be talking with developers or am I going to be talking with admins? Am I going to be talking with users? Is it just going to be the same two people over and over. What is the structure that you want to try for. Start with that and experiment. Iterate, see if it works. It doesn’t, it’s so new as a medium but old as a way of human beings consuming information.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Michael Rose: We’ve been listening to other people talk for as long as we’ve had spoken communication. We’ve been listening to other people talk at a distance since as long as we’ve had telephones and radio, which is more than a century at this point. But if you think about the different kinds of radio there are. And you think about the different kinds of podcasts that there are. There’s no limit to what you can do creatively. You just have to think about if I’m going to do this, what can I still be excited about and still be willing to put the time into do after a year, two years, 10 years. And what is going to be fun and exciting and engaging for people to listen to. So, that’s number one.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, that’s number one. It’s a big number one. And I would add to that there’s a few podcasts that I listen to. Well quite few now that it’s becoming summer and you can get outside and walk around like a normal human in the Midwest. But there’s quite a few podcasts that I listen to and the difference between the ones that last and the ones that seem to fade or quickly run out of topics to talk about is the level of research that they do. So you mentioned the Star Trek one. I’ve got a couple that I listen to that are based on the television shows I watched as a kid, and the one did not last more than seven or eight episodes. And it was literally just a cursory, “Let’s watch the episode and let’s comment on it.” Well, I can do that in my spare time. Right? I want something that’s behind it.

Mike Gerholdt: And the other podcast that I’ve since transitioned to that’s been going now for three years actually brings in people from the show. Right? Like they found some of the actors, and they found some of the stunt doubles. And they’ve met them at events and talked in-depth or done their research or frame by frame watch the episode to see the differences in the car. And you’re like, “Oh.” That’s stuff that the casual viewer wouldn’t catch. You know? And I talked to them once at a show. Go ahead.

Michael Rose: I was going to say when you say differences in the car, is this like Knight Rider or is this like Adam-12? Which car are we talking about?

Mike Gerholdt: Well there was a Knight Rider podcast that I listened to. I’ve since found a website where the person did an amazing job documenting every bit of every episode and I’ve since ditched the podcast. But the other podcast that I listen to it is in detail this person. I wish, I hope the internet somehow archives this site because the level of detail at which they go through shot by shot and, here’s the stunt car. And you can tell it’s a stunt car because it doesn’t have the full dash, and here’s it’s got this dash versus this dash that you saw in the other scene. And you’re just like, “Wow. I totally…” Of course you’re eight, and it’s Knight Rider. You didn’t even care as a kid. It was cool.

Michael Rose: Of course.

Mike Gerholdt: But the other podcast that I listen to is about the Dukes of Hazzard. And the differences between the seasons, and they’ve had the actors on and the iterations of the cars and stunts and the doubles. And it makes it, for me it makes it more enjoyable to go back to the episodes and watch them again, having listened to the podcast. Right? And there was also one on X-Files that I got into for a while, where they’d watch it and really dive deeper into it. Like they would spend 10, 15 hours researching an episode before they recorded a podcast. It wasn’t like, “Okay, let’s watch this and let’s comment on it and go from there.”

Michael Rose: Yeah, and I think for fandom related podcasts. I mean on some level, every podcast is a fandom podcast, because you have to bring that level of engagement and excitement to it. But for pop culture fandom podcasts, I think that it’s fun to have a balance between the participants who are incredibly fractally nerdy about what’s going on and the folks who are the casual fans who can react to that or can be a foil for that kind of deep diving approach to the content or to whatever the medium or the art is. I mean personally I would listen to a podcast that just follows Tom Wopat and John Schneider’s post Dukes of Hazzard career. And just like every show that they’re on that’s not the Dukes of Hazzard and talks about what they’re doing because I happen to think John Schneider is hilarious. He was a guest star on Leverage, playing a corrupt country music producer. He was fantastic.

Michael Rose: But that’s the thing, and I think that there are, it would be fine to look at that and say, “Well, I don’t want to be just another Star Trek podcaster. Or I don’t want to be just another West World podcast. Or I don’t want to be just another Veep podcast.” It’s like, “Well, okay, but you’re going to bring your own voice and your own thoughts to it.” So don’t feel that you’re, even though you’re probably competing for an audience and for attention. If you’re doing it because you love it, the volume of listeners and the volume of engagement doesn’t really matter. It’s only if you’re trying to, if you have an ulterior motive, shall we say? Of making money or of building attention or focus or awareness for something else. Then you do need to think about, what’s my engagement metric? What are my targets? What am I trying to reach?

Michael Rose: I would say 99.9% of people who make podcasts don’t ever spend time thinking about, how am I going to monetize this? Or if they do spend time thinking about it, they don’t actually execute on it in a way that’s meaningful, because the barrier to entry is such that, there is a ridiculous amount of content and there’s a ridiculous amount to consume out there. If you’re not starting from the point of doing it because you love it, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Okay, so I’m sitting down. I’ve figured out I got something to discuss.

Michael Rose: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: I’m going to focus on Salesforce because it’s what I love, and I’m going to figure out my angle.

Michael Rose: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: I’m going to experiment and iterate, which if you’ve listened to this podcast you know we do that a lot. What should I do next?

Michael Rose: So you can start with whatever you have in terms of, of course a podcast is recorded audio delivered via an RSS feed by definition. So you’re going need those two things. You’re going to need a place to host your feed and you’re going to need your recorded audio. Starting from the top of the funnel, I generally don’t recommend that people record their show on their phone if they can avoid it. But I also don’t think you need to go out and get a ridiculous amount of equipment or spend thousands of dollars to make great sounding or pretty good sounding podcasts. You can start with your basic USB headset. That’s what I’m actually recording on right now, since I’m at the office. There’s great guides, Dan Benjamin from 5by5 has a number of great guides to getting started with podcasting equipment. Wirecutter has a great guide to getting started, but basically a reasonably good microphone and any computer and probably not very much software. Whether it’s Garageband or Audacity or whatever you would like to use to record, you’re good to go.

Michael Rose: If you’re planning to do an interview style as you and I are doing right now, you probably will want to wait to make that work. Most folks start out with something like Skype. You can also use Google Meet or any other audio conferencing solution as long as you have a way to record both ends of the conversation. And so something like Zencastr which we’re using right now or Cast or I think there’s a couple of others, which are web-based recording studios essentially that combine the IP telephony call and the recording in one place are really handy, because it means you don’t have to mess with making sure you have both ends of the Skype conversation recorded. A double ender is when you’re talking to someone by phone or by Skype and you are recording, you’re asking the remote participant to record as well and then they send you back that file and then you have to synchronize those two files in your editing software. I would call that an intermediate level approach. It’s not that simple or it can get rather complicated.

Michael Rose: But using something like Zencastr or Cast is great because it takes care of all that for you. It records both sides or three sides or four sides or five sides of the conversation, and it’s not very expensive. I mean I could talk about the microphone I use at home which is not so great, but it is fine. It’s an Audio-Technica AT2020 I believe, which I like because it has a USB direct output. Almost anyone else you talk to will say, “You should not do that. You should do XLR into a mixer and do it right.” And I agree with them, and also I don’t have the patience. So but if you have a little bit of audio experience… yeah, go ahead.

Mike Gerholdt: I was going to say before you go down the technology slash equipment rabbit hole-

Michael Rose: The rabbit hole.

Mike Gerholdt: … for as many people as you ask what you should use, you will get that many answers. Like that’s just my rule of thumb.

Michael Rose: True.

Mike Gerholdt: Like I’ve been to a podcast conference-

Michael Rose: It’s very true.

Mike Gerholdt: … you ask 100 people what you should use for a microphone, you will get a 100 different microphone suggestions. It’s just everybody finds it’s that way. Like I think the universe of podcasting options hasn’t narrowed, and what’s crazy is anytime somebody enters the field it just gets broader. Right? It doesn’t seem to eat anybody’s lunch. You know, like it seems that there’s as many or more microphone or recording solutions out there when I started and they haven’t gone away and yet there’s still every week, there’s 10 more. You know?

Michael Rose: It’s true. There are so many, and I’ve probably used like for a long time I had the big blue Yeti microphone on my desk, which is this enormous 1950s looking thing, which is great.

Mike Gerholdt: I love it. It’s what I’m using.

Michael Rose: You’re using, well you’re soaking in it right now.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, right now.

Michael Rose: And it’s a lovely microphone but it just it was so much real estate on my desk that I found it a little overwhelming and intimidating. But yeah you’re exactly right, you’re going to get lots of different recommendations. The best is to, if you listen to a lot of podcasts and think across your landscape or your universe and think, “Gosh, you know who sounds great? You know which people sound fantastic? It’s these guys.” Or it’s this person, and email her or email him or post a comment on the show and say, “You know you sound fantastic. I’m just curious. What gear do you use? What’s your microphone? How do you set it up?” And nine times out of 10 that person will say, “It’s not a trade secret.”

Michael Rose: They will gladly tell you at length what they use and exactly why they use it and why it’s just this little bit better than what brand X is. And then you’ll have a basis for comparison, and you’ll say, “Oh. Cool.” So you do that. I don’t want to spend $600 on my microphone, but maybe I’ll look for the $150 version of that same piece of equipment or that same manufacturer, whether it’s Sennheiser or Yeti or whoever or Blue, and I’ll get that.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

Michael Rose: So then I’ll be in the same universe.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. I rarely find anybody that creates content that if you reach out to them and say, “Hey, what do you use? Or how do you do this?” Do they not respond, because it’s not the secret sauce. Right? They’re going keep creating their show and whether you have a Yeti microphone and use Zencastr, that’s great. Use that, because then they stay in business and I can keep using them too.

Michael Rose: That’s a good plan.

Mike Gerholdt: If you want to get out there and create a podcast and use the same stuff I’m using. Fantastic, because then all those companies are going stay in business as well.

Michael Rose: Yeah. And then beyond that, I mean once you have the way of capturing, once you have it on your device of choice, you can start to think about, “Do I want a little music? Do I want to spice it up? Do I have any editing chops that I’d like to bring to bear.” You don’t have to do that. But it’s nice to provide a little special sauce as you do, Mike, and join as well to bring the enjoyment of the admin’s podcast to all the listeners. And then getting it out there is basically depends on whether you have an existing web property that you’d like to associate it with. If you use WordPress or you use Medium or anything else to post content online, most of time that service will have a way to easily create a podcast from it.

Michael Rose: If not, you can use Libsyn. You can use Podbean. You can use Cast or Simplecast is what I use, and that will pretty much handle all the RSS’ing and publishing it to iTunes and to Google Play and so forth. It’s nowhere near as weird and complicated as it used to be to do this. The one thing that I do miss from vintage podcasting or the early days of podcasting was a wonderful app called The Levelator, which did a fantastic job of cleaning up spoken audio. Unfortunately, it went into maintenance mode several years ago and I don’t think it works at all on Catalina, on the current version of macOS. So it maybe one thing that I have to set up a virtual machine for so I can still run it, because I just loved what it did. It was such a great, it made it a lot faster to get nice, clean spoken audio out of a show. But other than that, I think the tools have just gotten better and better over time.

Mike Gerholdt: I would second that. The early, early days of the Salesforce Admin’s podcast was cleaned up through Levelator. And, man, that did such an amazing job, and then it’s out with the new iterations of macOS and whatever. It just stopped working, and yeah I think I have an old laptop downstairs that’s like one of the first versions of OS 10 that it might still run on, and every now and then I keep it on that version just because it’ll still, but it was good. I think what I hear and what I’ve seen in almost the decade now that I’ve been doing a podcast is if you know what you’re trying to put out and you have an angle for it, the tools and how you stitch everything together is out there, especially if you’re just a little bit technical. Like for me the hardest part was understanding the audio storage to the RSS to getting it to the sacred iTunes. Right?

Mike Gerholdt: And then understanding that, but the number of blog posts and podcasts that are about that now is if you listen to it, you can kind of, “Okay.” Like I get an idea of what’s going on and it’s just, it’s like ingredients. You just pull it apart. Even the hardest thing that you’ve ever seen at a restaurant for food to cook was still made by a person and just ingredients put together. Right? So can’t be that hard.

Michael Rose: Yeah, it is a lot more plug and play or service provider based than it once was. I think as people work their way up the production quality ladder, you start to make different choices about what ingredients you put in. So to your restaurant metaphor, you could have the same steak fried at a roadside diner or at a four-star French bistro, and it’s going to be a very different experience. Even though the recipe may be the same, the ingredients are what’s going to make the difference.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

Michael Rose: And the experience of the people putting them together.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

Michael Rose: So you’re going to start, you’ll use better source audio. You’re going to be more careful about putting it together. You’re going to make different editorial decisions. You’re going to tighten things up. You’re going to allow for different things to happen, but all that comes with time. The worrying about the production, the post production and the delivery part of it, like you said, it once was a little bit of a supplicatory process and sacrifice a goat and purify yourself for several days before you approach the altar of the iTunes feed with everything properly in hand. It’s not that way anymore.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: It’s a lot simpler now.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Michael Rose: They did actually change the categories a few weeks back or a couple of months ago actually, which I think for some shows caused a little bit of consternation, but other than that nothing really dramatic is going on in the feed publishing land that you need to worry about.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Right. Well, Michael, this was enlightening and fun. I’m always happy to dive into the world of podcasting with you and talk a little bit Salesforce, and I think we touched on it briefly. A glancing blow.

Michael Rose: We did briefly.

Mike Gerholdt: But I-

Michael Rose: Do you want my one most important tip for podcasters by the way?

Mike Gerholdt: One most important tip, yes.

Michael Rose: Always listen to the show or at least the first five minutes of the show after you publish it. From the feed.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes.

Michael Rose: Not because I can think of several times when I published the show and merrily went on my way and about a day or so later started hearing from listeners saying, “Hey it’s weird. That was the show from last month.” And it was in the feed again.

Mike Gerholdt: Hey, fun times.

Michael Rose: So, hey I grabbed the wrong file. Look at that. So don’t assume that everything went all the way through until you go listen to the feed. That’s a good safety check.

Mike Gerholdt: That’s so, I would love to say that I’ve done that before, because I have. I’ve totally published the wrong feed before and what’s interesting. I will see your five minutes and I will raise you the entire show because I’ve published, early days, where I was editing stuff and I had so many music and things that I had to put in that I actually created a show of just the beginning bumper. Right? And I meant to put that into another show and I did. And I put the whole show together, except I had two audio files on my desktop. One was just the beginning bumper and the other was the entire show. And I published just the bumper as one of the episodes.

Michael Rose: Oh God.

Mike Gerholdt: And much like you, I was getting tweets and these emails like, “Wow, that was a short show.” And it was literally like six minutes long. It was just the intro and some music and then when it said, “And let’s bring Mike on the podcast” it just died. So.

Michael Rose: It just cut right off right there?

Mike Gerholdt: I mean that was the audio that I had created. I just grabbed the wrong audio file. So you know, listen to your own show. And listen to other shows. I think that’s the biggest thing like writers read. I think podcasters should listen. I listen to at least six or seven different podcasts and think, “Oh that’s a really interesting idea.” Or “I like how they approach that.” Or “I like how they added this.” And it gives you ideas for your own, and it also tells you what you like and don’t like to listen to. You know? Tips from podcasting from Mike squared.

Michael Rose: From Mike squared. What’s your number one show that you like to listen to right now that’s not Salesforce related.

Mike Gerholdt: There is, I’m going to open it up, because I don’t want to get it wrong. It used to be Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, but I feel like everybody answers with an NPR podcast anymore. My new go-to because it fits, as you understand my threshold is, “Can I listen to an entire episode when I mow the yard?” And it takes me about 45 minutes to mow the yard. Actually it takes me a little bit longer but I have an electric mower with a battery and that’s when the battery dies. So 45 minutes.

Michael Rose: That’s how long the battery lasts.

Mike Gerholdt: Battery last 45 minutes and then I’ve got to take a break, which is fine because I’m usually hot. And I take it in and charge it and it’ll do like a quick charge where I’m like, “I don’t have much yard to go.” And it’ll just power me up for the last little bit. But to your question, it’s Mo Rocca. I’m sure you’ve seen him on CBS and Invention Nation.

Michael Rose: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: Has a podcast called Mobituaries and it is fascinating. Fascinating. I will admit to, as of this airing, going out back and doing some yard work. I was raking leaves over the weekend and listening to the episode called “Lawrence Welk, Death of a Square with special guest Fred Armisen.”

Michael Rose: Oh my gosh.

Mike Gerholdt: I was drawn to that episode. I skip around. Some of them are less interesting to me than others, but I, as a child, watched Lawrence Welk with my grandma, and it was just, it was an interesting episode. I love the longer episodes where he really gets into it. He does one about television in the ’60s and ’70s and I love it because it’s very thoroughly researched. He also has usually a couple of guests on to talk, and he also goes back through audio archives and pulls relevant conversations or relevant audio that really enhances the story of it. So I feel like I’m gaining some neurological connections in my brain when I listen to it. Hearing his opinion, it’s really history brought back in a different perspective.

Michael Rose: That’s a really good suggestion, and I’m a big Mo Rocca fan but I have not listened to the show, so I’m going to add that to my list as well

Mike Gerholdt: I will selfishly tell you, if you’re going to get into it, while we’re on this really quick, oh it won’t. Oh, that was previously played. The first episode I listened to and what got me hooked was Billy Carter, Death of the First Brother. And I say that because-

Michael Rose: Oh wow.

Mike Gerholdt: … I have watched the documentary. I love watching documentaries. Documentary on Jimmy Carter, Man from Plains. And this was Mo Rocca about his brother, Billy. And if you’re going to listen to this podcast, use that as your first episode because I really feel it’s going to set you up for success. And by that I mean it’s going to get you hooked.

Michael Rose: It will definitely hook me. I have been listening to recently to Ronan Farrow’s podcast. The Catch and Kill podcast, which is essentially a long audio commercial for his book, but since I’d already bought his book, I did not feel that I was being marketed to in any meaningful way, and it’s actually fascinating to have read the book and then hear the actual voices of some of the people involved in the story. So recommended if you don’t mind a very long, slightly long commercial for someone’s book, it’s really very good.

Mike Gerholdt: Fabulous. Well, Michael, I am going to wrap up this episode and I appreciate you giving us tips on starting a new podcast. And who knows? Hopefully by the time a New York World Tour rolls around, somebody can walk up to us and show us their new podcast.

Michael Rose: That would be amazing. Well, thank you for having me, Mike. And I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Mike Gerholdt: So it was great to catch up with Mike. I know I’ve run into him quite a few times at events. Usually the New York World Tour events and some of the East coast events. If you see him, he’s usually heads down into a computer helping somebody solve a problem or working on a demo, but he’s a lot of fun to chat with. I always enjoy talking with him. I hope you enjoyed our conversations. So three things I learned from our discussion was one, if you’re going to start a podcast, think about something you can talk about for a long time. So as your main basis for your podcast. And focus on the thing that you love, so if you love talking about Salesforce, use that as your basis.

Mike Gerholdt: And number two, figure out your angle. So what is the structure? Do you want to have an interview style podcast like what I do? Or do you want to have an expert style podcast? And don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate. If you go back and listen to the podcast from a few years ago, we did definitely different versions of it, and we tried to iterate and change things up. Keep things interesting. And of course the third thing I learned, which he brought up at the very end is always listen to your own podcast. And I am guilty of this. I have on occasion published short episodes or episodes that were accidentally the wrong file. It happens. We make mistakes, so it’s always best when your episode goes live to listen to it. I promise you it’s the first thing I do every Thursday morning when the podcast goes live.

Mike Gerholdt: Now if you want to learn more about All Things Salesforce Admin, go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources there, and as a reminder if you love what you hear, be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. I promise you, I read them all, and you can stay up to date with us on social for All Things Salesforce Admins. We are @salesforceadmns no “i” on Twitter. And you can find me on Twitter. I am @mikegerholdt, so with that, stay tuned for the next episode, and we’ll see you in the cloud.

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