It’s not easy to come up with a viable, self sustaining and successful entrepreneurial venture in this day and age. Home run, multi-millionaire overnight ideas are very few and far between. Hard work is needed, systematic approaches have to be made, and some bit of “luck” has to be found in order for any business to get off the ground, in front of the right consumer, and to become a household name.
That’s why they’re called Unicorns!
Dan and I had an idea, stemming from personal goals of wanting to escape the rat race (and not trade hours for money). Not unlike most people, the American Dream is great and all, but it’s a dream, and we as humans need to find our niche in order to be successful.
It’s not work if you love what you do.
We racked our brains for months, brainstorming ideas that originated from our marketing acumen, but our limited resources (mainly capital), both having full time jobs (only so many hours in the day, no matter what they say), were somewhat of a stagnating force to overcome.
We finally settled on an idea that we thought was so money, that even we could get it off the ground. I found a few people to help the cause, and was trying to partner with some with some high profile connections to essentially fund said operation.
Sadly, it didn’t come to fruition like we planned (still might though). But out of the ashes, came the idea for this podcast – the HeroFit Podcast!
Like a Phoenix! And still rising.
Our goal is to use this podcast as a way to find an audience, promote our brand, and find a way for people to trust in what we know is important in life – fitness, nutrition and overall health and wellness, so in the end we can all live long and happy lives.
I would say my goal for the podcast is to find and grow an audience that we can give value to. We hope we’ve been successful thus far.
Dan Weber is a fitness guy – former high school track coach, fitness trainer, and has a passion for in depth conversation and debate. He doesn’t just accept the norm, especially when it comes to his diet, or fitness, and he wants to learn as much as he can in order to better educate our audience on the various topics we want to touch on.
Thanks Nick! Lift. Love. Learn.
I’ve have been podcasting, more or less as a hobby since 2009, with my days at the Niagara County Community College, running N-Trip podcast center and later at WBNY hosting my own various talk shows. I found a calling in the gift of communication later in life, and utilizing my passion for athletics and sports, behavioral psychology, and interview skills, I am hopeful that we can make this podcast entertaining, informational, and ultimately something worth listening to.
I’m the brawn, he’s the brains. And we both have a face for radio.
So We’ve Found The Idea, How Do We Start?
Starting a podcast is not as easy as you might think. In concept yes, talking with people about their careers or interests is pretty easy.
But to format it to a digestible, unique and engaging audio and visual medium is not. How do we rise above the noise, find solid guests, and make a podcast that in turn advertisers will want to be heard on?
Or as I like to wonder: how do we attract a tribe of people who will want to engage with us?
There was also a fact that neither of us had audio/visual equipment to supplement this venture. So we had to pool together our limited resources, use the invaluable advice we’ve heard from the likes of Gary-V, and bootstrap this venture as best as possible.
Nick was the CTO, I was the VC.
Audio & Video Recording Equipment
Our foray into recording the podcast came with a lot of trial and error, and an epic fail or two.
We first borrowed equipment from my fellow podcasting friend – mics, stands, and mixer. Used Dan’s brand new PC laptop to record our first interview. This wasn’t my first rodeo, so I assumed that after I got the equipment up and running, Audacity on fleek, and we were underway, that everything was going to be great.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As the computer went to sleep, it really went to sleep and shut down Audacity less than 10 mins into the recording. Lost all that beautiful bean footage!
Now the fault lies in the fact that we didn’t use the computer to record anything yet prior. It sucked, we were embarrassed (myself especially). But we learned from it, and what was nice was that our first guest was understanding and accommodating.
That made us realize that from now on we didn’t want to leave anything else up to chance, and we knew we couldn’t rely on someone else’s equipment for our venture. And I made it a point to make time and a more concerted effort to be troubleshooting our recordings prior to start.
Everything is a process. Shout-out to Riki for helping us demo our first episode and then coming back for a real recording that didn’t cut out. Who knew that to be a podcaster required that the computer not have its sleep setting active? There was also the struggle of where to record…
So we set out to get the right recording equipment for the show.
I wanted to find condensers as they really do have the best quality for audio recording, but as we were just starting out, it seemed easier to utilize dynamic mics which were cheaper and had USB/XLR ports. Don’t get me wrong, we will get some condensers, especially when we get the video up and running.
Luckily the mics we bought also came with tripod stands, so minor score there too. (If you want to know which mics we bought, hit us up here! Or slide into our dm’s…)
Now we had a computer with multiple USB ports, so at first we skipped the Audio mixer. BIG Mistake. Both ports being used at once, for some reason the computer wouldn’t power them equally, and one mic was severely gimped in audio.
That wouldn’t do as we needed to record efficiently, so back to Amazon we went and grabbed a suitable 4 XLR port mixer with USB output.
Now armed with mixer, 3 mics – Dan had a gift card to Guitar Center and picked up a used condenser mic, two stands, and guests to interview… we were officially making money moves.
Thank you Mom for getting me a gift card after expressing interest in learning guitar…
Visually, I had my GoPro Hero 3+ Silver to use. I knew from past experiences, GoPros are pretty solid for some recording formats, but not all.
I didn’t want to put too much focus on video in the beginning because I knew trying to edit both audio and visual would be a pain, and take my attention away from other things.
With that in mind, I recorded what I could with the GoPro and will be using clips for YouTube content. Some of the shows weren’t fully recorded as the battery died, and I didn’t want to stop the flow of the audio to change out a battery.
As the show progresses, we will definitely incorporate video with guest interactions and interviews, but that might be after we find a solid place to record, which is our next thing to acknowledge…
Finding A Recording Spot In Buffalo
Did you know there aren’t any places dedicated to recording podcasts in all of Buffalo? Sure there are recording studios… but that wasn’t our need not really in our budget to make work, and we just wanted a chill spot to record and maintain sound quality.
The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library kinda has a space to record, but with our guests having very varied schedules, it would be hard to try to reserve a time there. And that’s saying that the time we wanted would even be open.
So Dan and I had to improvise. We tried the library at Buff State, UB, his house, my house, a coworking location… nothing was truly satisfying for our needs. We ended up using a little bit of all of them.
I will always remember fondly the cold rainy night driving around Western New York looking for places to record after Google yielded nothing.
For the first two, we used the co-working space having to pay for the second use. The space was suitable, except there was a dude making weird computer noises during the second recording.
The third and fourth was on location at the interviewee’s gym, and luckily the mics didn’t pick up any real distracting background noise.
One was been recorded at Dan’s house, just because of the convenience at the time with the scheduled guest.
The rest of the time we have used the UB library, where they have an ample amount of somewhat soundproof study rooms. We have sneaked into and set up shop no issues there, luckily.
#HornsUp. That’s where I am now as I write this sentence…
I’d say of all the things we have struggled with making work for the podcast, recording location has been the winner as it’s hard to find a solid place with minimal audio issues.
Website To Show Off The Goods
No other way to find podcast legitimacy, then to have a solid website. And in the bootstrap spirit, it behooved us to find a solid site theme we could modify instead of trying to have someone custom build the site from scratch.
From a couple of Google searches, we were able to find a collection of themes, and luckily for us, one’s that were built more recently and fresh to market. Specifically the $45 Castilo theme. This one worked for us in myriad ways.
The appearance and layout, media player, functionality, and interior pages were all solid. Everything seemed new looking and easily customizable for two marketers who know enough development to be dangerous.
Lots of plug and play design work, and with a well put together style guide, so what we didn’t know we could find from there and other sample pages. Really just a lot of minor tweaking, for our branding purposes – such as colors, tag-lines, and images – and adding the proper links to our podcast feeds.
What was nice is that it was fun to use this theme and make it our own. Highly recommend this theme, and I believe they had others in their gallery for purchase.
And a pretty cool logo from our buddy Nick. Now we need to kick the Branding game up a few notches. Establish some themes, graphics, show art, etc.
Show Content And Finding Solid Guests
I had an idea of what I wanted the show concepts to be. Essentially, we would immerse ourselves as much as possible into what each guest did, and then interview them talking about experiences, and talking about their passion in the fitness realms.
(Side Bar – I didn’t have a delusion that all guests would fit this criteria, and to be honest, I am fine mixing it up with the content. And high-quality content would be what drives the success of the podcast, no matter how it is conceptualized.)
In being in the podcast game for awhile, most successful podcasts have superb and engaging guests, and their knowledge would be some of the best ways to prove validity to the show and help create a tribe or brand following. But to get those high profile guests, we didn’t feel comfortable to reach out to them until we had a few solid shows under our belts. Some might say that we should aim high in the beginning, I might argue that getting ourselves established is more important.
Underratedly so, Buffalo and Western New York has a solid bevy of fitness talent that we felt the world should meet and get to know. So since it’s in our backyard, that’s where we started.
Nick and I had some back and forth about content direction. I have a bias towards long-form interviews (think Joe Rogan) and he has a bias towards curated edited content (think NPR). We’re doing what best presents itself (and is realistic) for now. Most importantly we care the most about what you, an audience member, will want to consume!
So far so good… As this is just the beginning with HeroFit, I know that as we keep getting more interviews and other content under our belts, we will keep improving and making ways to please our audience.
And to add to that previously discussed short, more curated, educational or entertaining content (that comes from us). The issue? Time.
I really want to find new ways to incorporate video into our repertoire. Not only as another medium to promote our content, but because with fitness and nutrition there’s so much more you can show with video that you’re inhibited from just audio.
Another thing I want to do is see how we can promote the podcast in new ways.
If there’s someone you think we should interview or you’re someone with a fitness and nutrition background that wants to engage in a different platform to promote your knowledge, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Conversely, if you’re someone who wants to start a podcast, and wants to learn how – reach out to us and we can discuss how to make that happen as well!
We’ve already helped others set their podcast dreams in motion. We’d love to help you. It will save you a ton of time because we’ve already put it in for you!