At work, we do this weekly Office Hours webcast where people can register, then join a GoToWebinar where we just sit around and answer their questions. It’s half an hour every Wednesday.
But if you’re not there live, you miss the whole thing.
We used to try recording it, but it was kind of a pain in the rear. We had to set up a separate laptop as an attendee, set up screen recording software, record it, then afterwards edit it down, and upload it to YouTube. We didn’t want to hassle our employees with doing that kind of thing – we believe in letting SQL Server people focus on SQL Server stuff – so it meant only partners could do it. Thing was, partners couldn’t always join every week, and sometimes we were on the road without our second laptops, or we were in low-bandwidth locations. So we never really got a podcast off the ground.
When the company bought out Jeremiah & Kendra’s shares, it forced me to make go-or-no-go decisions about a few things, and one of them was whether we should keep doing the weekly webcast.
See, like Alton Brown, I’m all about multi-taskers. When I build something, I want it to get as many uses as possible. For example, when I write a blog post, I want it to build toward presentations, webcasts, and training classes. But the weekly webcast – man, that’s a lot of expensive man-hours for us to spend on something that only benefits the people who show up.
- Have their computer join as an attendee
- Record the webcast with a screen recorder
- Add our logo reveal to the video, and upload it to our YouTube channel
- Make an audio-only version of the webcast
- Upload that file somewhere, and get it into a podcast fee
I knew how all of those steps worked. I just didn’t wanna do them.
So I asked, “What’s it cost to outsource this?”
Upwork.com is a freelancer marketplace where you can post a job, and then find people all over the world to do that job. You see their relevant experience, their comments from past customers (along with the dollar & hour size of the past engagements), and their billable rate. You interview them, and pick someone to do the work.
We went with Pavel A (Zed P on Upwork), a professional podcast producer. He does this exact kind of work, and he had a whole checklist and process for us to get started with the podcast, promote it, and then manage it on an ongoing basis. The logo, the voiceover, the descriptions – he just took care of all of it, getting our input along the way.
It only cost us about $500 to set up, and $100 for each episode (for the recording, uploading, etc.)
The results are awesome: the iTunes podcast looks great, his advice on how to get podcast reviews really paid off, and we went to the top of the New & Noteworthy Technology charts on iTunes. This helps us reach, help, and train more SQL Server people.
It’ll get even better over time, too – for example, we can start having the podcast transcribed into a blog post, which will help people who are Googling for answers. In those transcriptions, we can add links to the resources we’re talking about on the podcast, which makes listening/reading a better experience. That’s going to require more work, though, so it’s on hold for now.
I don’t consider myself a podcaster by any means – I have even more appreciation now for the work that other SQL Server folks put into their podcasts. It’s just nice to have Office Hours putting in double duty as a marketing multi-tasker.