It All Started With An Idea
For a few years, I was interested in podcasting. I loved listening to them and how they could capture an audience. When I got the opportunity in my senior year of my undergraduate degree to take a podcasting class, I jumped at it. I found that I loved editing and thinking of new ideas each week. After the class ended, I wanted to continue with my podcasting journey.
My two hometown best friends and I have been inseparable since elementary school. When we were younger, we would spend our sleepovers making our own “talk-show” and different movies that we would make up in our heads. As we got older, we continued to document our friendship in different ways: pictures, videos, written letters and more. With my newfound passion for podcasting, we started thinking about how we could turn our conversations into a podcast to bring people together to laugh and enjoy themselves.
We began talking about topics we would include in our podcast such as friendships, relationships, school and transitioning into adulthood. We have all been friends for 15+ years and we found that many people don’t get as lucky as us and we want to share our experiences from elementary school all the way through college graduation. This is how In Good Company was born.
Our podcast is three twenty-somethings talking about the ups and downs of friendship, relationships and everything in between.
Pre-Production: Research and Planning
Before we could start our podcast, I did a lot of research regarding who is listening to podcasts and what exactly they were listening to. I found many statistics that showed a huge growth in podcast listeners in the past year. Many young people are listening to podcasts on their commute to work or while they’re getting ready in the morning.
I spent a lot of time practicing editing audio in Adobe Audition, a totally new program for me. All my previous experience had been in Audacity, a free and much more basic program. I knew that I wanted this podcast to be high quality and Audition gave me the tools I needed to do that. I also went and bought a subscription to Epidemic Sounds, a music library that provides a much wider range of selections than free sites. Now that I had the digital tools I needed to be successful, I went on to purchase a microphone so that I could deliver a high-quality sound.
I also spent a lot of time creating a Trello board that helped me easily organize all the tasks that I wanted to complete during this process. I shared this board with my two co-hosts so that we could all be on the same page. On this board, I broke down the big tasks such as creating a script, recording an episode, editing the episode and launching the podcast. It broke down seemingly scary tasks into more doable pieces.
Before recording an episode, my co-hosts and I would have a creative meeting. During this, we would brainstorm topics for that week. We decided that at the end of each episode, we would play a different drinking game to help provide variety in our segments, plus it’s fun for us. From this, I would create an episode outline that acts as a guide. On this, I provide time estimates per topic as well as crucial points we want to get across. While it’s an unscripted talk show, it is always better to have talking points in-front of you to help keep the conversation flowing. This also helps me during the editing process because I can make notes on where I need to cut things out or where someone may have stumbled over their words.
Recording and Post-Production
Recording our pilot episode proved to be a challenge. I recorded this podcast into Adobe Audition. I performed audio tests in multiple locations before settling on my carpeted basement. Right before we recorded the actual show, we tested our audio a couple times, but something went wrong during recording and one of my co-hosts was barely audible. This was hard for me to fix and the final product wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but overall it was a good first attempt.
I spent approximately fifteen hours editing our pilot episode. It was frustrating and at times I wanted to give up, but it got much easier the second time around.
Our second episode went much better. We were more confident and comfortable around the microphone and you can hear it in our voices. We are much more open and willing to share our stories. After we finished recording, we all felt 100x better about the content that we had recorded. We used less filler words and spoke clearly. We also tried to avoid interrupting each other, which is still something that we need to work on. This made editing less of a hassle. We also had enough content to make a teaser trailer.
I originally planned on writing a script for our trailer, but after recording two episodes I thought it would be fun to pull quotes from different conversations to create a cool mash-up with music in the background. This ended up being a great way to show off our personalities, plus it didn’t sound forced or rehearsed.
Building a Brand
A huge part of this project for me was designing a logo, which proved to be one of my biggest challenges. I started with an idea to have different Polaroids of our friends from many different occasions. I loved this idea of having all the people we talk about to be the face of the show. The logo didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted it to. It wasn’t modern enough and didn’t have the pop of color I was looking for. For the next few days, I designed a few other ones without our faces but with nice pops of color. By the end, I liked the general concept of the logo, but it still felt like something was missing. I went in search for custom fonts and other ways to incorporate pictures of my friends.
I ended up with a version of the bottom right one that I really liked. I made the background a little less harsh and found a unique font that I really liked. Although, it looked a little plan for the cover art of our podcast. Plus, I still wanted to incorporate our Polaroids in some way. So, below on the left is the logo that we use for our social media, but the right is the cover art that will show up when someone is listening to our podcast. I am really glad this process had so many stages because it gave me time to figure out just what I wanted and I was extremely happy with the result.
I also created a brand kit inside of Canva, the main website I use to create logos and graphics. This included the colors, fonts and logos that I could easily access when creating social graphics. It looked something like this:
“Welcome To In Good Company” – Our Teaser Trailer
Episode 1: “Are We a Cult or Are We Just Best Friends?”
Episode 2: “Long Distance Relationships (Won’t) Kill You”
Long Distance Relationships (Won’t) Kill You – Kelsey B
The Future of In Good Company
This process has been extremely challenging but fun. I get to spend time with my two best friends and be creative at the same time. All of us have plans to recording episodes for the foreseeable future. We have episodes three and four planned out. We want to record and edit at least four episodes before we launch our podcast. We have social media pages that we are starting to be active on. We are working on creating an audience by following similar accounts and sharing our trailer. We are excited to be on this journey and sharing our voices with the world!