Hello, welcome back to the Podcast Producers
Podcast with me Neil Mossey. Welcome back to the Happy Hut – it’s as you
can probably hear it’s deep midwinter here in the UK.
We’re going to get indoors with Stuart Morrison who’s an SEO expert – as quickly as possible…
I just wanted to say thanks for all your support with the episodes so far.
We made episode 3! I really want there to be music running underneath
this – I might put it on in the Edit. My 9 year old son has written a theme tune which
I’d like to try out. We found out in the last episode that 18 percent
of podcasts never make it past episode 2. So we’ve already crossed that hurdle and I
hope this helps you to get your podcast online and to keep going with it.
That’s the whole point of this podcast. In this episode – episode 003 – we meet with
Stuart Morrison who helps businesses gain more visibility online. So I thought that
would be perfect for people like us trying to make podcasts.
How he got into that game and gained his expertise is an amazing story and he’s also the host
of the “Signal Bordon Hub” which is where we went to have our chat.
We’re in a room that says “Therapy In Progress” on the door.
“Welcome to my couch! Come lie down!” So the idea of the Podcast Producers Podcast
is that I get to talk with as many Podcast producers as possible to help anyone start
their own podcast. Okay.
And just as a fruity capricious idea to start the show – I don’t know if I’m gonna stick
with this as a format – but I thought it might be better to get to know you firstly Stuart
with one question which is: “Do you have a podcast that you listen to religiously do
you have a podcast that you’re always checking”? Yeah yeah Maron.
Maron, the Guvnor. Yeah Maron.
King of podcasts. He’s just I mean… I came to him through
his very circuitous route because I was looking for something to watch on Netflix and I saw
his series on Netflix and then I saw his specials and then I watched and listened to his podcast
and I just love his honesty. Sometimes when people on a podcast – they
put on a personality and okay that’s fine you know that’s entertainment if you want
it – but it just feels like you’re getting Marc Maron.
I’ve only just noticed this… there’s a little touch of the Marc Maron look about
you… Is there? [LAUGHTER]
Yeah I can see that! Oh no! So that’s “WTF with Marc Maron.”
Yes that’s it yeah. I love the way he opens the show – I won’t
say now because I’d like this to not be sweary. Yep, no, but that’s it.
You know he talks about his cats he talks about the fact that he’s doing it in his garage
you know he’s had the ups and the downs… and to a certain extent you show the showing
which is very Brechtian. So you have this old guard who are all very
top surface veneer it’s all about the show biz… but with things like Marc Maron you
get to see the production. And he’s just stuck at it, you know, and I
think for me that’s the story that all entrepreneurs miss out is – they do something once it doesn’t
work and they stop. Yeah.
You can’t. You need ten years of failures under your belt and get used to failing big,
failing fast, varying spectacularly, failing very publicly, but fail – because in that
failure you should be learning your craft. Well it’s funny you say that because this
is the second episode of the Podcast Producers Podcast, and it’s a huge leap of faith.
I started 2 podcasts and one went really well, but it’s a closed series.
The other one – I just hit this wall. It was just the psychological wall of keeping
going with it. So then I decided to park it for a moment,
and just talk to all my friends – everyone I know who’s been close to either producing
podcasts themselves, or anyone who actually has skills that might be needed for podcasting.
And Stuart, you are probably better known as Mister Metric?
Well that’s my business – yeah – what we’re branded as.
And I’ll put this in the show notes but your business Is Mistermetric.com
Yes, so that’s mister – full spelling of the name Mr. – Metric as in measurement, dot-com.
And it popped into my head that oh my god I should be talking to you about…
it seems that when you start a podcast, it draws upon so many superpowers.
That you might be stronger on some, and weaker on others.
So you might be good at booking guests. You might be good at scripting for yourself.
You might be good at the audio production. You might be good at the the graphics and
the cover art and you might also be good on the computer side.
So you might be good on editing and audio processing and putting it out there physically
as a as a thing as a feed. I might be wrong but I just want to talk to
you about this because it seems to me that your superpowers are in that area of optimizing
a podcast to actually live online and to be found.
Yeah I’ve worked with a lot of businesses that want more visibility online.
The old term is SEO SEM – search engine marketing, search engine optimization.
Do you like those terms? I used to rail against SEO because the whole
thing about Google is don’t try to manipulate the search rankings.
So if you’re engaged in SEO that’s exactly what you’re doing and therefore there is no
white hat, black hat, you are trying to – you’re not just letting the chips fall where they
may. You’re actively seeking to improve your search ranking.
Google has, over the years, made it clear that if you do this overtly and with malicious
intent then they’re going to likely penalize you if they find out.
I think it’s perfectly acceptable these days to try to make the best of yourself.
It’s a little bit like going to a job interview you know you wouldn’t turn up in jeans and
a T-shirt. And to be fair if you’re engaging in the sorts
of things that Google want the end-user experience to be like – so you’re making your content
fast to load, you’re giving it lots of rich content that the end user is looking for,
then that’s a good thing for everyone. How would you describe your background how
did you end up doing this. Oh gawd, have we got two hours?
Yeah! Well I started out as an engineer but I wanted
to be an actor and my dad was very much of the opinion that if you have a trade you can
always fall back on it. But this was in the mid 80s and things were
changing and changed rapidly in the 90s. And mid 90s, I decided that it was now on
ever – I had to break away from engineering and do what I wanted to.
I didn’t want to be on my deathbed and think to myself why didn’t I do… why didn’t
I have the courage of my convictions. So I literally walked into work, handed over
my notice and I didn’t really have a plan other than I wanted to be an actor and I figured
that given enough time in the day that I wasn’t being distracted by a job that I would I would
find something. And I was committed to doing anything that
I needed to, to achieve that. I did lots of things. I did car clamping.
I emptied out burnt-out buildings… You name it, if somebody was going to pay
me to do something and it was legal to do, then I was going to do it.
And part of that was selling the Internet. So an old Internet service provider was Netcom
UK and I was part of the sales team that rolled it out.
That sort of gave me the impetus to get online, because back then it wasn’t easy.
You know you needed a modem, you needed to dial up… a CD thing that you used to put
into your computer… And then you went into this world of websites
and they were all just simple text websites. You know if you had a picture on it… whoooh!
Yeah so it was a lot more difficult back then. But I started to look at things like passive
income. And whilst this was going on I’d had some
success with a poster – you used to buy them in Athena, Woolworths and that kind of thing.
And this poster sold big. And then off of the back of that we sold more
posters. Then I got – I found a novelty company that
would take some of my wacky ideas. And then I started doing the design for their
boxes. Box art. The long and the short of it was the poster
itself was put into the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
People have worked years and years and years to have apparently the accolade of having
their work enshrined for all eternity in a museum and I did it on the first day out.
What was the poster? Is it easy to search it?
Yeah it was a color chart, so it had all the colors and then it was really really disgusting
and subversive and weird and bonkers naming. So it was juxtaposition of the color and the
name. Sacred and profane – which is something I’m
obsessed with. Yeah, yeah it’s called Takischitt.
And I had this whole backstory – like it was a German conglomerate – industrial conglomerate
– that had merged with this paint company – this Japanese paint company – and they translated
all the names… But they’d done it quite badly.
Really clumsily – like and this was the color chart, and it was called the Takischitt colour
chart. So it was the Takimoto organization and the
Vonschitt organization… So it’s… SCH SCH itt yeah. So it’s Takischitt.com
– it’s still up you can still go and buy it. I’ve got an interactive one which has got
sound effects on it as well. So you can press it and you just hear the
sound effect, and it’s the juxtaposition of the name the sound effect and the color.
I’d love a link to that, we’ll put it in the show notes.
And so how did you get from the extra-ing – alright okay yes – to the search engine
optimizing? So obviously working for the internet company
I had access to the Internet and I saw I almost the moment I was shown it I instantly got
it – it was like an alignment of my DNA with it you know I was like you can change everything
that – everything. And what year was this?
93? Okay 94. No yeah 93, 94, all of the stuff to do with affiliate sales and affiliate marketing
it was all about being seen – so finding an audience – so that was where the SEO, interest
in SEO came, because I realized that the people who would succeed online, were the people
who could get in front of the search engines, and get at the top of them.
So that piqued my interest because that was where the money was.
It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you haven’t got anybody or if you’ve got
product that nobody’s searching for… so what?
So I was doing that and friend of mine came to me, she was in a band and they did weddings
and that kind of thing. And also she did a Madonna set where she performed
Madonna live and it was fantastic. You know she had two dancers they had a full
band performing all of the classics but she was also doing the latest Madonna, and at
the time it was the Madonna with the white Stetson in the fur coat.
She asked me to manage them I said yes. One of the things I wanted to do was build
a website and publicize them to all of the agents that I could find.
I wanted to do a calendar because then the agent didn’t just have a picture they had
a nice picture on their wall that changed every month. But it was my customer – my client.
I was looking at the videos for inspiration because I think if we can recreate like an
iconic image from each one of the videos, that would go a long way to selling the idea
of her as Madonna and one of the videos that Madonna had done was Ali G.
So I thought “yeah that’d be fun” we’ll get an Ali G in.
I was absolutely staggered that an Ali G lookalike wanted five hundred pounds just to turn up
and stand around in a photograph. And I thought to myself, do you know what,
I reckon I’ll get myself a fancy dress outfit. I’ll do Ali G. It won’t matter about me because
it’s all about Madonna anyway. Anyway got to the photo shoot, I got changed,
I came out – had grown the goatee in and all the rest of it and people were just like “oh
my god you look just like him” I was like shut up and so I started doing
the voice you know… Hola, swallaback, this be new drive-by FM
the sound of the ghetto straight out of Staines this is the sound of the Spelthorne underground.
I thought nothing of it I thought it was a fun fun shoot.
Anyway sent it off and I got a phone call within a couple of days from one of the agents
saying yeah we’d like to book both the acts and there wasn’t both the acts there was one
act and me and a fancy dress outfit. I said yes because as I said you say yes it’s
all details. And I was a suddenly I was an Ali G look alike.
I went out I built my own Ali G website: Ali G for real dot co dot UK and built it up got
it to the top of the search engines. In actual fact if you typed lookalike at one
point there were six of the results were me, for the word look-alike.
And this was about the mid nineties perhaps late 90s?
Towards the end of the 90s – this was maybe maybe early 2000 2001 2002.
One of the look-alike agents in the audience said to me it’s really good but what you can
do when Ali G sort of fades into the background? And me being a joker said oh I’ll do Little
Britain. Two weeks later I get a phone call from Richard
and Judy’s people – a live talk show – and said come on the show and do your act. So
I said yes. I didn’t have an act I think at some point an adult would step in and stop
me. But I won and off of the back of it I met
my other half of the Little Britain Act – Gavin. So yeah Littler Britain really really went
nuts like properly nuts. Gavin is a really good sales guy – I optimize
the website for all the right search terms – every day’s that the phone would ring two
or three times with people wanting to book us and then we hit 2007 and the credit crunch
sort of rolled into town. And people stopped booking us. A lot of our
work came from corporate, though a lot of sales and marketing agencies using us for
events and those just dried up. I also at this point had a young family and
I was touring so I was away for days at a time and when you’re away for four or five
days and your child is young you know I missed my daughter’s first steps… I miss their
first swimming lessons… yeah there’s just so many firsts I missed because I was away,
or I was busy with the act. You know, you just get sick and fed up and
when you wake up in a hotel room and you’re not sure where that hotel room is because
it looks like every other hotel and you’re literally lying there scrambling in your head
thinking is this Aberdeen, or was Aberdeen last night?
Yeah and those days – I mean proportionally they are chunks of your child’s life – yeah
– if they’ve only been around for a year or two, a week is a really significant percentage
of that life. Absolutely. The universe stepped in at the
point where I was time to get disillusioned with it…
It sounds as if your creative output was kind of in harmony with the SEO skills that you
were developing. That you that you were running your SEO yourself.
Yes. As an agent – as an SEO agency I was my own customer – right – so you know I had
SEO hat on in the morning and sales hat on in the afternoon.
The entertainment agency as it were even though I was my own customer it kind of failed and
I sold my house and my plan was to maximize the sale of the house right at the height
of the credit crunch – not to use an estate agent.
So I built my own web site for my house I put all of my sales and marketing skills into
it – all of my search engine skills into it – and we beat rightmove to the top of the
search engine for a very specific phrase. It was “property for sale Guildford” which
was the most highly sought-for phrase that I thought we needed to appear for.
We got seen there was a bidding war and we sold the house for 98 percent of the pre credit
crunch price which was a decent chunk of change. We had no sales agent fees, but it was a case
of what am I going to do to earn money, you know scratching my head.
It was at that point that things started to change.
We beat rightmove which is the largest sort of house selling business online and that
got us noticed by the estate agents. You know they’d go to Google and they type
in property for sale Guildford because they want to see where the other where their website
was and other competitors websites – and there’s this one house website called property for
sale Guildford dot co dot UK – wedged above Rightmove and they want to know how I’ve done
it! I had phone calls from estate agents saying
how did you do it, and I’m like well I’m not going to tell you, but I’ll do it for you.
How much? And I tell them… no no no no… and it was…
but looking back on it, it was only a few hundred pounds you know that nowadays if you
could get that keyword and allied keywords you’d be quids in.
But that gave me the clue that I needed to start to educate businesses around search
engine marketing, search engine optimization, and their website.
What is perhaps for you the most basic principle that we should be looking at – as people starting
a podcast – what would you say we’ll be the first basic principle?
So if you’re going to create a podcast – create a podcast that people want to listen to.
Generally speaking, there are two types of podcasts: there are informational and there
are entertainment, and you have to decide what is yours.
And just because it’s informational doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t have to be entertaining
and just because it’s entertaining doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t have to give out information.
But what I’ve realized is that if you are going for purely a chat show, then you need
to have your own unique take on it. There has to be a reason for it.
So the first basic principle is “what is your aim?”
Choose an aim of perhaps how you want to change your audience or what you want to achieve
with the podcast. Yeah I would set out with a topic, a niche,
an audience in mind. Another basic error when they’re designing
something – is they think in terms of “an audience” and actually you should only be
thinking about one person. Because it’s only going to be one person interacting
with your podcast when they’re listening to it.
Generally speaking you’re talking to an audience of one that is made up of thousands of individuals
– and I think that people make this presumption of talking to an audience – whereas they should
take the late-night-DJ approach of you know when that late-night-DJ’s whispering to you
in your ear, they’re talking to you Neil Mossey – you.
A lot of the times I think that people try to “perform”.
It’s that Marc Maron thing again – they put on this veneer and people don’t want to hear
a veneer – they want to hear you, you know. The raw truth.
They wanna hear the raw truth. I think for podcasters – if you’re going to
pick a topic and a niche – do it in a way that’s surprising, interesting and engaging.
Don’t just present it as a Haynes manual of A to B this is what you do.
Fantastic so the first principle is “what is your aim”.
Be clear. Think about one person, and be vulnerable
and risky. So for this – the podcast producers podcast
– I want to share this journey in real time. That’s brilliant.
And if I’m falling flat on my face… No that’s great…
We’ll get better and you will watch the podcast get better.
There are, there are, so you can create content as an expert.
In other words “I am the expert, you come to me and I will dispense the pearls of wisdom.”
You can create content as a complete newbie. “I know nothing but let’s discover what
I don’t know” Or you can have a journey.
And that’s “I know nothing but let’s follow me on my journey to expertise”
The journey one is probably the one that is of most interest, because there’s always going
to be a guru, an expert or flavor of the day. The newbie approach is interesting to start
with. But ultimately if you’re not progressing,
why bother listening? So the journey one I think is the one that
most people can get behind – that everyman of, “I’ve decided to do this. Let’s find
out what I don’t know. Let’s just go on the journey”
And I I quite like those. Those are the my favourite.
There’s a thing called LGR – lazy game reviews – and the guy who talks he’s got a really
great voice. He’s got like a real proper voiceover voice.
But he does these ones where he reviews – he does screen grabs of old, you know, 8-bit
games and old computer gaming. And he does these reviews of them, then he
moved into the technology that was running the games, and now he does the lazy game review,
LGR thrifts, where he shows you walking around these thrift stores.
He’s obviously got these video glasses… picking up things and going, “Ah I remember
this, this is a great thing but it’s broken and it’s not worth it!” and puts it down.
And he produces those sporadically, and I like those because they’re showing the showing.
It’s like I go to these thrift stores as part of LGR and I buy these games and these trinkets
and these… this old tech… and you’re following me on my journey.
If you’re going to do 100 podcasts, and commit to 100 podcasts your 100th podcast is going
to be hugely better than your first podcast, which is gonna be full of erms and ahs, and
the lighting’s not going to be right or the sound – you’re not gonna have the best mic,
and we all start somewhere. And I think it’s really honest with the audience
and I think an audience always appreciates honesty. What would the second basic principle be?
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. A lot of the times people decide to do something
which is vastly outside of the scope of their experience.
They don’t even, you know, that they do a hundred of them and they still don’t make
any progress. And then the chances are they’ll have dropped
it by the time they got to five or ten because they vastly overestimated how quickly they’re
going to progress to their goal. So they bite off way more than they can chew.
And it’s like right okay I’m gonna get a hundred thousand viewers on my podcast channel by
this time next year, and they’re starting with – nobody online knows them.
They’re not in any group, you know if you’re doing something for the love of doing it,
keep doing it. You know there’s plenty of people out there
who are doing it as a hobby. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a commercial
thing. I’m saying that if you’re going to do something
commercially, then you need to put some parameters around it and not bite off more than you can
chew. Well that’s that’s brilliant. So the second
principle is “don’t bite off more than you can chew” and to illustrate that I think
what you’re saying is that biting off more you can chew is actually setting yourself
an outcome that’s completely outside of your control.
Whereas things you can “chew” – are things that you can control.
So if it’s to commit to making a podcast a week… or to get to a tenth episode…
You can control those things, and that is what you can chew.
Is there a third principle? I mean yeah yeah yeah definitely and I see
this in really big businesses so it’s not just the newbies that start out – and this
is not having a workflow or a process. So your principle is to have a workflow – yes
– and a pipeline – yeah yeah – a process. If you’re producing a podcast there are a
number of steps that you’re gonna have to go through from the point where you start
out and to the point where a podcast is out there.
Now when you start out it’s gonna be a meandering path as you figure out what to do.
You read up on stuff. You go down blind alleys.
You learn some things. But you should start writing down – “okay
I then do this and then I set the settings for my processing to this and I know that’s
going to take an hour.” Literally, right now, a little process timeline
like that will make you realize exactly what you need to do, so you don’t miss anything
as you move along. You’ll find things and shortcuts and go “I
don’t need to do that” or “there’s a website that just process it– I just upload it it
automatically connects to my podcast hosting, it’s five pounds a month for the two and a
half hours it takes me to do that, it’s worth the fiver a month”
Understanding that process means that you can improve that process.
It’s when you’re just pulling in ad hoc things and everything’s a mess and you don’t have
time in your diary, and you know, okay this is gonna take an hour this is gonna take an
hour, this is gonna an hour… And book that time in with yourself, and have
the process written down, because then you can improve it.
I think this is where I hit a wall with my podcast which is that – you’ve got lots
of things happening simultaneously – so it’s a, it’s as big a leap to record an episode,
and then you’ve got to edit it and process it… but while you’re doing that, and you’re
recording new episodes… You’re also simultaneously having to build a home for it.
Or just getting the thing online. And those completely conflict with each other
because you think “what’s the point of me recording new ones if I haven’t (done that)–“
Real life doesn’t work sequentially. So let’s say you’re going to release a podcast
a week schedule. That’s your schedule.
However one week you might record two podcasts because you get access to the two guests you
need. You still have to run the outcome of those
interviews through a process and it might take you ten iterations of the show or twenty
to understand fully how that workflow actually works with you in your diary, and for booking
interviews and just generally getting it out there.
Because once you’ve got it out there the hard slog really starts.
Because you’re then going to need another workflow of “How do I publicise my podcast?”
“What activities do I engage in?” And it’s just repeating that every single
episode that will build your audience. Maybe… an answer is… because in my head
of thinking one week! One a week! Maybe to get started it might be better for
the process to go for one a month. If you get a backlog of things to release
– great. Then you could step it up to a fortnight…
It’s best to be regular and reliable than ad-hoc and sporadic.
So if you are going to commit to one a week know that you’ve got the time to absolutely
commit to those one a week episodes and what that means for in terms of
“I have to set aside 12 hours of my week… however I fit that in around what all my other
commitments are… I have to do 12 hours a week to be able to release that episode knowing
that I won’t have any audience for 100 episodes.” Is there another basic principle you can share
with us? Yeah be very clear about what your goals are.
“Don’t bite off more you can chew” is more about setting things up and getting things
going. Having clear goals is “okay there are things
that are outside of my control like I can’t control the number of subscribers I’m going
to get. But I’m going to make sure that I’m going to earn five hundred pounds a month
off of my podcast by this time next year.” There are going to be elements of that that
are outside your control but there are also elements where you could think to yourself
“right if I’m going to do that, what needs to happen?”
And that’s a really good question. What would have to happen in my business for
me to make 500 pounds a month off of my podcast. Right, so for instance, if you set this kind
of a goal, that will then work back to you thinking “well, I need to do a call to action
in the podcast” Yeah exactly.
It’ll affect how you make it – exactly – because you know what your… what your goal is.
Finally on the basic principles, are there any any others we should bear in mind?
I would also suggest that people invest in themselves.
You invest in equipment – you buy the best camera you can – buy the best microphone you
can. But there seems to be an under-investment
in people’s own abilities. You’re going to learn some of it on the job
– but you can short cut success by paying people who’ve made all the mistakes to tell
you what’s mistakes to avoid. And to listen to them.
It baffles me how, if somebody says to you don’t do something, why you would ignore them
when they’re the expert in their field. So yeah, listen to the experts and invest in
your own skill set. So the final question is… episode titling.
What would you call this episode? What would be a good way of making a title for this episode,
so that when it goes online, it will find people who would be interested in this particular
topic? How to succeed at podcasting?
Podcasting success and how to avoid the pitfalls. Something like that, you know something that’s
like shortcut to success, avoid the pitfalls. I always try and think of an emotional word
that makes somebody connect emotionally. You know, something that’s visceral – something
that connects a “yeah yeah you know if you if you fail you fail big style and we have
helped you avoid that.” But I would probably try and keep it below
164 characters just so for the search engines so that it doesn’t spill out.
Excellent I really like “Podcast success avoid the pitfalls”
So we’ll see if that ends up being the title of this episode.
We’ll see. Stuart Morrison thank you so much for your
time – that’s been really generous. No problem.
Where can we find you if we wanted to get in touch with you or see your work?
My own personal business is mistermetric.com – mister metric dot com – that is a website
designed to help business owners maintain and support their website in a healthy way
– there’s a bunch of tools there – there’s a few things that you can do to check out
your website. I also do consulting with businesses which
is how I got involved with Signal, and I run a thing on a Wednesday in Bordon called the
Bordon Hub – where business owners come and we have a number of different activities that
we get involved with. But the whole point is about supporting businesses
and that is my whole raison d’être is to help businesses succeed by avoiding the pitfalls.
We’ll put all of those links in the show notes and in the description if you’re watching
us on YouTube thanks for clicking on this video it would help me enormously if you were
to click on subscribe because if I manage to get the – thank you – the Bell click the
bell! If I managed to get to 1,000 subscribers that’s
my goal – it’s a goal! It feels impossible.
It’s a goal! No but, you just write down all the activities
that you think now that you can do to get a thousand subscribers even if it’s like “I’ve
got… I know a thousand people I’m going to write to every single one of them” – that’s,
you know, that’s what needs to happen. This is and this is why I’m asking you to
be so kind if you’ve got this far into the video it would really help me keep going.
Also if you have any comments or questions or even just say hello – that you managed
to get to this point in the podcast… If you’ve got any questions for me as well
I’ll come back then I’ll answer them in the comments.
And if you’re listening to this on the audio podcast there’s a link to the audio podcast
in the YouTube description you can subscribe there and this journey – these episodes – will
appear in your pod catching software – so really appreciate any subscriptions there
and thanks once again to Signal Hub in Bordon for being our host and providing us with a
quiet room. That’s brilliant yes yeah they and that’s
what they do they’re there to support and and nurture new businesses and and small businesses.
Thanks for watching and I guess I’ll see you on the next episode.
Can you please help my daddy get 1000 subscribers just click on his face, thanks bye!