If you’re reading this, then you’re thinking about starting an audio project of some kind. First of all, congratulations! You’ve chosen an extremely powerful medium with which to communicate. Radio, for example, reaches 60% of the country on a daily basis, which adds up to about 236 million people each week. And this is radio, an “outmoded” medium according to many critics. If you’re thinking of doing some recordings on a podcast, Savage Love Cast style, well, you’re even better poised for success.
There are a few things you’ll need to invest in however before you can really ensure good quality audio production:
1. Solid Copy Writing
Everyone thinks copy writing is easy. Well, we’re here to tell you, it isn’t! There are all kinds of tips and tricks to copy writing that if you don’t formally learn and practice will really drag down your performance. For example, it’s been scientifically proven that the human brain starts to lose interest in a sentence if it’s twenty words or longer. Then there’s the Fleichman-Kinkaid reading scale to contend with. A little hint — good copy writing will not have a reading level above the 10th grade level, EVER. These are just a few copy writing tips that you’ll need to learn before you can get good at audio stuff.
2. Interesting Voice Acting
Now you may be thinking, “Wait a minute — voice acting? I just want to do a podcast about my cat!” Well, we’re not saying you have to get crazy, but you should know that audio consumers listen to the airwaves for nearly three hours every day. If you want part of that time to be taken up with you droning on about your cat, then you’re going to have to speak clearly in an interesting way! This might mean doing voices, practicing elocution and inflection, and telling stories with different characters Jim Gaffigan style.
3. Good Loops and On Hold Messages
This is particularly important if you’re on the radio, but also good if you do a regularly scheduled podcast and just wake up sick or unmotivated one day. You need a few hours of pre-recorded “loop content” ready for your regular listeners to fall back on. This content needs to be engaging and repeatable from time to time. You’ll also need some on hold music or a recording if you do call-ins from the audience, as 85% of people far prefer these to silence when they’re on hold. And please, no elevator music. Whatever malignant conspiracy told people that was a good idea needs to be stopped.
4. A Theme or an Episodic Story
We know that we live in an impatient, perennially in motion society. However, we haven’t totally squandered the power of the narrative just yet. I mean, look at all those Game of Thones super fans spoiling stuff on your newsfeed right now. For this reason, we believe it’s still important to have a cohesive theme to whatever audio project you’re attempting. If possible, make your show a series, or units of different series, rather than just a disjointed, stand-alone show of improvised content. This will court listener loyalty and make it easier for you and others to communicate your brand.