[00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Microphone, a podcast about podcasters and the stories of how their shows came together, grew, and what they discovered along the way. I’m your host, Adam Perreault. Before we get into our interview today, I want to talk a little bit more about AI. Um, something I’ve spoken previously about on this show, but something really interesting came up yesterday.
Adam Baruh: And I think it really kind of speaks to where we’re at right now overall with AI. I mean, we’re all fascinated by chat GPT. And. Um, in fact, many of us are using it in our jobs in one way or another. Um, it really is a useful tool. And so I get an email from a friend yesterday and he’s like, you know, check this out.
And so he sent me, basically it was a video of a lady just kind of reading for like five minutes. She’s just kind of talking on some subject and then they [00:01:00] basically used AI to take her voice and train an AI model. Um, Which then they, they, you know, whoever put this together, they typed out a script and their AI tool basically read it used like an overdub feature or voice generation feature, um, to basically read the script that they wrote with that lady from the videos voice trained in the AI model.
And, um, you know, I, you could tell a little bit that. It didn’t seem like the way she was using or saying some words that it wasn’t like normal, like colloquial English. Um, I can’t remember the example of that, but, uh, you could tell a little bit like you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s AI, but you could tell maybe this.
Maybe English isn’t like a first language for her or whatever. I mean, she didn’t have an accent, but just the way she kind of read off some words was very much like a computer would. Um, but the, [00:02:00] I mean, I was really surprised by the inflection, the pauses, the kind of like, you know, saying something and then kind of like waiting for emotional impact.
So, um, it’s a little like, to be honest, it was a little frightening for me to hear that. I mean, there’s a lot to be figured out with AI. Um, there’s a lot as a society that we need to figure out. Example, one of the classic examples right now is like the education system and students being able to like a lot more easily plagiarize stuff than when I was in school.
So it’s not fair! Um, but uh, no, it’s a real big concern and that’s only one of the many concerns. I mean, so when it comes to like being able to… Deepfake a dialogue, a monologue, if you will, by just typing in a script and having AI read it off to you as somebody else’s voice. Um, you know, I’m definitely very concerned about the deepfake, um, you know, the [00:03:00] ability to deepfake people saying things that they never said or whatever.
So, obviously that’s something that needs to get figured out. And I also, you know, I mean, In terms of like my friend who sent me, you know, this, this content last night, you know, he, it was, the content was put together by, you know, four podcasters for kind of this idea of being able to like write scripts and you don’t have to record interviews anymore, you just have the A.
I do it. And I’m like, you know, there’s so much that humans are going to be able to, um, Offer in a podcast that I don’t think AI is going to be able to do and, you know, it’s a fascinating conversation. I mean, it just brings up so many things that we have to solve as a society. AI is not going away. People, it’s literally going to, you know.
Invade so many things that we do, but if we do it intelligently, I mean, we can have a I work for us rather than, you know, [00:04:00] all the, you know, the scary side of what a I the potential for a I could do. And I’m not I’m not alone in saying that. I mean, the leaders of Google and being and open a I have recently gotten together to pen an article and then sign it together against the potential negative, harmful side.
Ways in which a I can be utilized and they are united against or, you know, they’re united in trying to solve the problems that a I present. So I do think it’s great when it comes to like limited use. For example, we use descripts to edit these, you know, podcast episodes and they have an overdub feature where if I want to replace a couple of words, I mean, I did train my voice on it.
I went through descripts exercise to train your voice. So I can use the overdub feature. I don’t have to re record sections if I, if I, blah, blah, blah, completely screwed up my words, which happens. Um, and so in, in limited use, I think AI is great, especially for podcasting and many [00:05:00] different industries. But when it comes to really taking over stuff that is better suited for humans, anything related to like human emotion, human connection.
I really don’t want AI invading those places. Um, but it’s a fascinating conversation nonetheless. So with that, let’s get into our interview today. Um, today, my guest is Elizabeth Gar. She is the host of the podcast. What it’s like to Dot, dot, dot, a podcast that lets you vicariously experience intriguing things that you may never get a chance to do.
You can learn what it’s like to summit Mount Everest, attend the Academy Awards and be a professional baseball player. What it’s like to has a listen score of 32 and is ranked in the top 5%. So well done, Elizabeth, and welcome to Beyond the Microphone.
Elizabeth Garr: Thanks, Adam. So happy to be here. And that’s a fascinating topic you were starting with, because I also thought, well, podcasting and this type of thing is, you know, [00:06:00] isn’t going to be taken over by AI because this is human interaction. This is conversation. This is emotion and thought. And then you bring up something like that.
And I thought, Oh my gosh, even we’re going to get replaced. I
Adam Baruh: I mean, um, well, what are we all going to be at a beach one day and just, you know, just having a Mai Tai in our hand and just,
Elizabeth Garr: that’s the positive outlook on it.
Adam Baruh: Yeah, no, I mean, it’s fascinating because there’s a lot that AI is like really, really great for, um, and, and Sophisticated and I mean I even you know, I play guitar here and there but I’m a terrible songwriter and I went into chat GPT I said, hey write me a song kind of here’s some here’s the chord structure and the progression and kind of the theme for some lyrics and It generated a whole song, and I’m, you know, it’s, I could do something like, Alright, well, I don’t want the chorus to be in B, let’s change it to E.
So, it, it’s like got this [00:07:00] iterative, um, back and forth. So it’s, you know, it’s wild to think that it’s really only been here for, what, a year, a couple years? ChatGPT, and,
Elizabeth Garr: And I also heard like for travel plans, some people are using it to say, I’d like a beach but in a not that populated area and I’d like to spend this much a day and eat at these types of restaurants and it’ll give you a whole itinerary. So things like that I had never even thought about. So
Adam Baruh: And, you know, it can, you know, when it comes to content creation, it’s fascinating, like, I think that’s a great use for it. Like, I mean, this, you know, could be, you know, I guess a good argument either way, but like blog content generation. So would you be interested in reading an article that was written by a I mean, I’ve kind of gone through an exercise where I know for myself, like, yeah, like, I mean, if it’s like offering insightful information, why not?
It doesn’t matter at that point if it’s a human written article or an AI one. I mean, if somebody if the [00:08:00] article is about like, you know, some sort of human experience thing, then yeah, maybe not. But something was fascinating. About a month ago, I actually, um, I went into chat GPT, and I said, Hey, write me an article I can use on on my website about the ways in which a I can be utilized in the podcasting industry, and I want it to be about 1500 words, and it generated a really thoughtful piece.
And so I I published that on my blog, and I said like this is written by a I didn’t write a word of this. Um, More for just kind of striking a dialogue, and I actually went onto Facebook onto some community Facebook podcasting group, and I kind of put that question out there. I’m like, Hey, this article was written by a I check it out.
Like, let’s you know, what do you guys think? And it started a really, really fascinating conversation. There’s people that like we’re up in arms about it, like, No way. I don’t like a [00:09:00] I and other people are like, Yeah, it’s cool. Like, it really saves me a lot of time. Obviously, you know, I think somewhere in the middle is obviously probably going to be, you know, where people are going to feel comfortable with AI.
Because, yeah, like, we don’t want it replacing jobs. Um, we don’t want students cheating on their homework assignments. But, why discount it altogether? So, the interesting thing is that this Facebook group actually took down my article and they thought it was self promotional. But, uh,
Elizabeth Garr: Well, I think what’s interesting is you sparked in, you sparked human connection by putting that up there. You sparked people thinking and talking and dialogue, which is… It’s kind of an interesting, you know, side benefit to the whole thing.
Adam Baruh: Yeah, and we have to have these conversations about it. But anyway, let’s, let’s get into you here today. And I’m, you know, definitely want to, you know, find out what your journey has been like. So, you know, here on Beyond the Microphone, I think, you know, one of the things that is most fascinating to me are the stories behind [00:10:00] how podcasters get into the space.
Um, I myself, you know, kind of have. A story that, that put me into this podcasting world. I never thought I would be doing what I’m doing today. And so I have a story and, and so many people get into it with like passion and purpose. And, and there is often a story to tell. So tell us about your background and ultimately, you know, what led into you getting into the podcasting
Elizabeth Garr: My stories. Yeah, everyone does have interesting stories. Uh, well, I, my professional background is in journalism. I used to be a print journalist and then a TV journalist. I worked in local news and. Um, in production for, uh, PBS and E entertainment and a bunch of, um, you know, networks and that sort of thing.
And so then I worked in documentary film. And so I kind of have a bunch of like production, writing, all that in my background. And then I took a lot of time off and I was a stay at home [00:11:00] mom. And a couple of years ago, I thought I really want to get back into something professional, but I live in, um, San Francisco Bay area.
I’ve lived in L. A. and New York, and I thought, I can’t really get back into TV or film work as much here, and so what can I do that uses a lot of my interests and passions, um, from the back, from the past? What do I really like doing? And I thought, well, I love interviewing people. I love researching. I love editing.
I do love visual too, which of course, some podcasting now is doing more with YouTube and all of that, but at the time when I was thinking of this, I hadn’t thought of the, of that stuff. And so I thought, well, maybe I can use all that in podcasting. And so I came in pretty naive, quite frankly, because I thought, well, I know how to do quite a bit of this.
I need to learn some. So I took a podcasting course, an extension course through Stanford. It was the pandemic, so it was an online thing. And I learned some more, but I came in a little bit blind, [00:12:00] like I knew what I knew, and then I realized as I got into it, there’s so much that I don’t know. And I’m still in that zone.
Like, I feel like every week there’s more of, oh, and I don’t know this, and I don’t know that. And in a way, I think that that naivete was kind of a blessing, because maybe any time you start something new, it’s good to… If you knew everything, maybe you’d never start something new because it’s too much, it’s a, could be a little overwhelming.
Everything you don’t know could stop you from starting.
Adam Baruh: Well, a lot of people get, um, you know, kind of like this chasing perfection or imposter syndrome type of thing that, that comes to play into it where it’s like, you know, until I have this concept nailed down perfectly and I, I feel completely comfortable doing interviews and stuff like that, I’m just not going to do it.
Right. And so, um, yeah, like even for myself, I mean, I. I kind of, you know, I listened to a lot of podcasts. So when I knew that I wanted to start one, I, I went to one that I, I mean, how I built this [00:13:00] with Guy Raz and I love that podcast and I’m like, well, he’s got kind of a cool format at least. I mean, I don’t do really any narration and you know, this beyond the microphone maybe doesn’t align with that format as much as my former podcast, the change where, you know, you kind of lead in with a hook.
Some sort of a quote from the guest and, um, you know, just how the episodes are utilizing background music and stuff like that. But, uh, yeah, I think just kind of launching into it with some semblance of an idea and some semblance for how to get it done. Like, that’s all you need, really. Like, don’t overthink it.
Like, if you want to get into this work, it’s, you know, the, the entry into becoming a podcast host is… It’s a lot easier than I think a lot of people kind of think, you know, it can be or it should be. Mm
Elizabeth Garr: of it is the hard part because you have to think about what, [00:14:00] um, how you’re going to be able to keep your cadence up. Because like what I made my episode in my little, um, class, my podcast class, very, I remember some of my, my student, like, um, What co students, my fellow students saying, Oh, it’s very NPR ish because, of course, that’s those are the ones that I listen to you too.
And I have put so much production into it. I spent so much time on this, like, 14 minute piece with music and all sorts of splicing in and, you know, um. Narration and interviews and all this, and I thought, there’s no way I can personally produce a piece like this on a weekly or twice monthly basis. This is, it’s just little old me.
I don’t have a team of producers around me. So you kind of have to think of what, how many people you have working on this thing and what is actually possible to put out. And so I thought, I have to scale this back or just do a different thing. Like I do have an interview show because that’s much more possible.
I can’t do all of this multi leveled production kind of [00:15:00] stuff. Um, and so, um, and so at times, like right now I’m releasing every other week because I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life. And you know, at times I was doing it every, every week and you just kind of have to figure out how much you can handle.
And like a big part for me that is still remains a challenge is just the marketing and promotion of the thing. Cause I don’t have any business background. I’m like a creative person and so that whole part just is like this beast to me out there of like, how do I tackle this and, and so trying to always get on top of that part of it and figure stuff out and try new things out always just feels like I just want to kind of do the product so that, you know, I, I just feel like there’s so many elements you could be doing at all times and you have to figure out, you have to prioritize what you want to spend time on.
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Adam Baruh: I couldn’t agree more. I mean that I’ve actually spoken about that. Um, quite a few times on this podcast, the business of being a podcaster and you know, I’ll share with you the story that I shared before, which is so I just mentioned I used to have a podcast called the change. I was publishing bi weekly.
Okay, so that’s that’s a manageable workload. It’s just twice a month. Um, yeah. You know, but one of the things I, I knew I wanted to set out to achieve was building like enough of a backlog of episodes where if I needed to take four weeks off, I could do so. And I’m not missing my, my cadence on my release schedule.
Um, but a lot of people that I, you know, cause it was a podcast about, um, mental health in the workplace specifically. Kind of this work life balance, burnout, anxiety, that sort of thing that we experience in our professional lives. And I interviewed quite a few different authors, and so I’d want to [00:18:00] read their books, right?
That’s, that’s pretty time consuming and we were doing, we were kind of going after a high production value when it comes to the use of background music pauses, um, mid roll promos and, and so on and so forth. And also that we were, well, I did have a sound engineer, but a lot of our editing style was really by hand.
I mean, an example of which is, you know, one of our steps with one of the podcasts I produce was. You know, we, we give them like, kind of like a rough cut, um, track, and they’ll go through and listen to the whole episode and come back with any edits that they recommend. So anyway, we, it was very time consuming and of course what that led into is I got very burned out by it.
I mean, if it was the only thing I was doing, it would’ve been totally doable. But I, I run a it consulting company with like 20 employees and I’ve got two other businesses that I run. So [00:19:00] it, it just. Didn’t work out. I wanted to get back into podcasting again. So with beyond the microphone. There was a lot of intentionality with How I set things up Specifically so it’s doable without really doable in a way where I Knew I was putting the structure in place to to avoid burnout and have fun with it because that’s ultimately what I I hope to achieve with this And so yeah, I’m glad you brought that up because he had For people that are just starting out, like maybe the, the, the, one of the things I would recommend for two things actually is think about what you’re putting together, the format, the style, the release schedule, and that, and is it all going to be doable for you in, in your time?
I mean, are, are there things, there’s a lot of software tools now, um, and we’re sponsored by pod tasks, so I’ll give a plug out to those guys, but you know, there’s a lot. Uh, there are a lot of tools that can help you really manage and streamline things. Um, but then the [00:20:00] other thing, like I mentioned a moment ago is 100 percent backlog your, your interviews like record.
So I just, so today’s Wednesday, July 12th, this is when we’re recording this yesterday. The first episode of beyond the microphone actually was published. I’ve already recorded 22 episodes. So like my schedule right now, I can produce into 2024, um, which is a highly recommended way of doing things.
Elizabeth Garr: Yeah, that’s
Adam Baruh: said, if, if I’d want it, if I needed to take five, six weeks off, like I’m not.
Missing a beat at all, um, I’ll be able to stick to my schedule, but let’s get back to what it’s like to, so I’m, I’m fascinated now to hear about how this particular premise of a podcast was put together and how you go about getting your guests and, and all of that stuff,
Elizabeth Garr: Yeah, I went around and around trying to think of what I should [00:21:00] Really focus on because as you can probably tell by what I ended up with I have a lot of interests I’m not just someone who was like, oh, I definitely want to do it just on I remember some give this example of You shouldn’t do a podcast.
You need to be really niche. Don’t just do it on food do it on mangoes This was in my podcast course and I thought oh my gosh, I would get so bored of mangoes Like after about five episodes, what more can I say on mangoes and then I’d have this really devoted mango audience And if I suddenly decided now I want to do something on trampolines, how would my Mango people want to follow me?
And they’d say, well, they would like you, the post. And I, anyway, I just could not ever find something that was that niche. So, um, I really am always, I’m a behind the scenes person. I’m the one who always wants to, you know, stay through the credits of the film. You know, read the author’s bio at the back of the book.
I always want to know how everything is made. It’s kind of like the Guy Raz podcast too. So it’s kind of that concept. So that’s how I got to [00:22:00] it. It’s like, what is it really like to be that person, do that thing? And so. That’s how that came about, and I started out getting guests pretty much just friends and friends of friends.
It really got to, like, people I went to college with, friends of my sister, you know, that kind of thing. And then I started, and I did a little bit the same thing. I batched some episodes before I launched. Just to feel better about it. I mean, you not as many as you have, but I just didn’t want to feel that stress because I was coming out on a weekly cadence.
And I just didn’t want to suddenly feel like, oh, my gosh, I’m so behind because that’s a terrible feeling of now. I have no guests. What’s going to happen? And that happened a little bit the 1st year. How am I going to get guests? It’s doesn’t happen anymore, but that is a really panicky feeling. So I’d rather have more under my belt. so then it started happening that if some people would listen to the show and actually write in and say, Hey, I think I know someone who would be good, or [00:23:00] I might be good. Um, and then I also cold call people. There are times that I, I just have a master list of general topics that I think would be fascinating.
And I’ll look for someone who might fit that category. That comes from my journalism background of just, I don’t mind. people and getting no for an answer or just not even having someone
Adam Baruh: Mm
Elizabeth Garr: respond. It takes a lot of time though. I mean, you know, I, I don’t have all the time in the world to just write to every, I don’t know, circus performer, that’s nothing that I’ve tried, but whatever it is, and to have no one write back.
So it’s a little easier recently in the last three months or so I’ve gone on these, um, Kind of matchmaker sites in podcasting that they have of, you know, you’re a guest and you’re a host and how to find people
Adam Baruh: Right.
Elizabeth Garr: and that has been pretty successful. Although you have to be pretty picky, I think, because especially for me, I think there’s a lot of people who pitch me themselves or [00:24:00] their clients and I’m, you know, I want specific types of people that are, yeah. Obviously that fit my niche, so I have to really sort through
Adam Baruh: let me ask you because this is something that came up. This is a conversation. I’ve had with other podcasters is on that very topic. Like let’s say you. You, like, set up an episode, you book a guest, the guest comes on, and they are flat. They’re not a public speaker, they’ve never really done it before, and it’s just a flat episode.
What do you do there? Do you publish still? Um, because you had the guest come on, do you, you know, as the producer and publisher, do you, do you say, no, I’m just, that one’s not going to make it to the final, the final cut? Like, what do you do there? Have you run into that before?
Elizabeth Garr: you know, I actually haven’t, but it is a fear. And I have been as a guest on podcasts, I have been pre interviewed [00:25:00] on a few, and this is what they’re screening for. I’ve talked to a few hosts and they say this, you know, sometimes I talk to potential guests and it isn’t. Obviously, no, you know, like they are, there’s no way these people are getting on my podcast and I think, oh, maybe I should be doing these pre interviews.
Cause I don’t, I mean, I,
Adam Baruh: me neither. I don’t. Yeah.
Elizabeth Garr: and I feel like I just have enough going on that. I kind of just, I researched them and I email them and I sort of hope for the best. So I have not run into that and. I guess I’m sort of, you know, at the beginning, you said everyone has stories to tell about how they got their podcast.
And I come from the idea to just everyone in the world has interesting stories to tell. And obviously, some are more entertaining than others. But I think maybe this is also from my news background. I think you can kind of pull out some pretty good stories out of out of pretty much anyone.
Adam Baruh: Yeah, no, I, I do agree with you. And, um, you know, it’s, it’s our challenge as the [00:26:00] host to, to draw that out and, and to try to, you know, just to remember even that the guest is probably in that moment as uncomfortable as the host might be. And, and you can, you know, break the ice that way if nothing else.
Right. So I want to ask you. Oh, go ahead, please.
Elizabeth Garr: I was just going to say, I think sometimes what’s harder is I’ve had a couple of people who have clearly been on a lot of podcasts and they sometimes have their own thing they want to say, and they’re just going to say it. They’re not even going to necessarily answer the question.
They’re, they’re just so used to being interviewed that they’re just going to almost say their spiel. That’s almost harder to interview than the person who is a new interviewee. You know, like you hear about the politician who’s going to answer. The question they want to answer, not the question they’re being asked, and it’s not quite that, but it’s sometimes I remember one person I interviewed and I asked a particular question and he started telling me about his background as a kid, and I particularly didn’t want to start there [00:27:00] because I didn’t think that was the most interesting thing.
But I think he was just so used to beginning interviews that way. So, um, anyway, I think that that can even be more challenging is an experienced
Adam Baruh: right about that. I had somebody come on recently and, you know, I mean, for me personally, you know, what I get excited about as a host but also as a listener is, um, When I can hear like a genuine, you know, human being, like genuine, genuine conversation when their authenticity like is, is just apparent, you know, and it’s there and they’re being their real selves.
And, you know, those are the ones that you really, as a host, you don’t even have to like. At that point, when you come across those types of people, it’s just such a natural conversation that I don’t even have to look at my, you know, kind of like scripted questions that I’ve come up with. It’s just a great conversation.
And then I had someone come on recently and it’s like out of the gates. They came on and clearly like they [00:28:00] went into like podcast guest mode. Um, and so anyway, I totally know what you’re talking about.
Elizabeth Garr: You know how they say ABR, always be rolling. And I feel like at the end of the interviews is when I often get the most interesting stuff. It’s like the person is kind of lets down a little and then starts to just, I don’t know, relax and tell some more interesting stuff. And sometimes I move that stuff to the top of the interview or top of the episode because it’s just so much more genuine
Adam Baruh: Yeah.
Elizabeth Garr: they start saying.
Adam Baruh: Here’s something that was interesting because like for I used to be a wedding photographer and you know, we like my style is I always wanted genuine. I, I guess I was more of kind of this documentary format type of wedding photographer and what I was trying to capture were real moments and real memories and for probably the first few years.
Um, I just kind of did my thing and I think I got great photos, but I wasn’t necessarily focused on capturing that. [00:29:00] Genuineness, um, and then I took this workshop, um, from a photographer named, I think his name is josh de rocks And he had this beloved collective. I think is the name of it like methodology, um, and I wonder how much this can apply to like doing interviews where it’s, it’s more about kind of trust building and relationship, like breaking down the walls.
And so he would teach us in this workshop, these just various, like different levels of games that we can play with our couples to get them to be themselves, break down those walls. And like level one was kind of like just like funny little games that the couples can play together. And then if they were doing well with that, you could take them to level two, which now you’re getting into maybe some like emotional type of stuff.
Level three, everybody’s crying. The photographer, everybody will be crying. I had a couple, I did a couple level threes with some clients and, and all of us were just like, Ooh, like, um, so I wonder how much in podcasting you can [00:30:00] kind of maybe find some tips or tricks to, to utilize like that, that really help an interview, like people to let down their guard and stuff like that.
I’m sure there’s, there’s clever ways and, and you know. Tips that people are using, but, uh, what have been some of, you know, in the conversations that you have, like, what are some of your favorite conversations that you remember? Some of the, you know, best memories from your, your interviews that you’ve had?
Elizabeth Garr: Well, kind of on that note, what you’re saying about the emotional realness, um, this is one of someone who wrote to me, um, and actually is one of the most popular episodes is woman who talked about her alcoholism and her, uh, recovery. And that was something initially I thought, I don’t know if that really fits into my categories of.
But anyway, I interviewed her and she was incredible because she was so. Raw and, um, she hadn’t really told her story much before she just [00:31:00] decided she had told I guess locally to maybe a small group, but she was just in this mode of, you know what, I’m ready. This is important for me as a step in my recovery.
I want to be very open about this. And I wonder if I can help anyone else. So she was not kind of a practiced like a person. I’m out here to you. She was, it was a very, um, personal moment for her to speak publicly about this. Yeah. And she was just so, um, It was so touching to me how, how, um, I don’t know how revealing she decided to be.
And I, I really remember at one point I just said something like, I feel for that little, for that teenager, you know, in you. And for, she was, I felt, I just felt I’d never met her, but I suddenly felt so close to her after, after about 10 minutes of talking to her because she was being so raw. And it was just felt like a kind of a special connection with somebody I had never met because she was opening herself up.
And I think [00:32:00] that because of the response, the episode then got, I was like, clearly listeners felt that too. Because I don’t think in general people would say, Oh, let me listen to something about recovering alcoholic, but she really did something there.
Adam Baruh: So what she did was make herself vulnerable and it’s a scary place. And, um, you know, something I think that’s worth mentioning is, you know, what, what sells in photography and in podcasting, like what, what are,
Elizabeth Garr: Mm
Adam Baruh: what are some themes that keep an audience engaged and wanting to come back for more? In my opinion, um, It’s emotional connectedness.
It’s, um, hearing vulnerable, authentic stories. Um, you know, that those episodes will always sell themselves, I think, because, and this speaks to what I believe podcast, like why I think podcasting [00:33:00] is such a awesome and unique communication. Medium, um, is when you’re a listener and, you know, you’re in your car, you got your headphones on, you’re jogging, whatever it may be once, like a lot of these storytelling podcasts.
I love those for me as a listener. Those are my favorite, like the moth. And I’ve heard so many moth storytellers share these extremely vulnerable stories. As a listener, I feel like I’m in like a room alone with them and, you know, I could feel the emotion of, of them recounting like an event that happened.
Like I could feel that and I think that’s so cool with podcasting, right? That we can, that there is this format that, you know, really. In a day and age where so many of us are working remote and we don’t, you know, there’s been somewhat of an erosion of like [00:34:00] actual human contact, like podcasting has become, for me at least, like it kind of supplements some of that human connection.
I, even though I’m not like directly face to face with somebody, like as a listener, I get brought in, I get brought into the story as if I’m right there in that room when that event is happening. And I think, you know, that’s so. Amazing about podcasting. Like, what’s your
Elizabeth Garr: Yeah. And I think part of that is because it’s just audio as much as I love video and have video background there when you’re talking about like the moth and these personal stories when it’s when you’re just hearing it, that level of personal connection somehow is heightened beyond just seeing it because when you’re seeing it also, I think we’re layering on a lot of extra things.
Maybe we’re putting on unsuspecting judgments or there’s just a lot more going on. Um, yeah. But when it’s just that audio, it’s, it’s so intimate. And so when people are being vulnerable and giving these [00:35:00] personal stories, it feels close and the, you know, I feel like the intimacy is heightened because of that.
So I, yeah, I love how you said that because I, I agree. I think there’s something really special about the audio only podcast world.
Adam Baruh: Yeah. And my thought to that is when it’s audio only, it’s much like reading a book where there’s so much that is happening in your imagination. Like you’re trying to, you know, kind of like imagine the room they were in when some thing was taking place and, you know, imagining what they look like and people’s reactions.
And so I think you’re right. I do think that. Those audio formats, you know, lend more to the emotional receptiveness of, of the particular story or interview or whatever it may be, but, um, I wanted to ask you, and you’ve already mentioned some of these, but if you can kind of elaborate more on what have been some of the.
[00:36:00] Highlights and challenges for you and your podcasting journey. I mean, it could be anything technical guest related, whatever. Um, what
Elizabeth Garr: Mm hmm.
Adam Baruh: and challenges that you can share with us?
Elizabeth Garr: Um, the highlights what I guess first came to mind is I really like connecting with all these different people, you know, even just, uh, I mean, I’m not trying to, whatever they say, butter your bread or something, but like just talking to you. I just feel like, wow, I’m talking to this really interesting person today that half an hour ago, I didn’t even know.
And I feel like that every time I interviewed someone or I’m interviewed by somebody, it’s just like, this is such a cool. Medium for me that I’ve gotten to meet and have interesting conversations with this wide variety of people every time, even if I’m feeling, and I’m getting ready for an interview and I’m feeling maybe a little overwhelmed.
Do I know what I’m going to say to this person or something? And then I get into it and I’m like, this is the best, I just love this. Um, and so I [00:37:00] come out super energized every time, like what a blessing, you know, that I get to just interact with these really interesting
Adam Baruh: Yeah, it really is a gift. Um, and that was something that was, I don’t know, I guess somewhat unexpected for me. Just, um, and you could probably say the same thing, but like. Almost after every single interview, I’m like, let’s stay in touch. Let’s talk more, you know, like, you know, wanting to be like BFFs and
Elizabeth Garr: best friends.
Adam Baruh: yeah, exactly. So, you know, and, and that’s because I think, you know, we’re having a conversation that, you know, sometimes things come up and, and they’re, you know, we’re sharing with each other. And, you know, the, the, the ideal. And I think what we’re all trying to achieve at the end of the day is trying to help somebody in one way or another.
And so we all have that mission behind us, whether it’s helping somebody in mental health, help, helping somebody like enter into the podcasting space, help, helping to, you know, somebody being able to relate [00:38:00] to a dream they’ve had, like wanting to be a baseball player. Um, so, you know, when I read your, uh, description and you mentioned about, you know, Hey, you can see what it’s like to be a baseball player.
Like, I definitely clued into that. And I wanted to ask you. Have you had a baseball player, um, on the podcast or what, what, I guess, give me the story behind that, um, statement you made in your premise.
Elizabeth Garr: I did. I had, um, a guy and how I got him is he’s the son of a friend of my husband’s and he’s a professional baseball player. When I booked him, he was in the majors. And then by the time we interviewed him, he had been demoted to the minors. So, um, I think he’s still in the minors. He had an injury, but, um, he played many years in the majors
Adam Baruh: what was the episode or, or like, you know, where
Elizabeth Garr: It’s so it’s a two parter. I think it was like his name is Joe Biagini And he, um, he, he was so good and talk about being vulnerable. [00:39:00] He is completely out there and vulnerable about all the struggles he has, the self doubt he has had, which he thinks is the reason that like has plagued, he hasn’t had admin had, he has not had as much success as he could have is because of his own self doubt.
I mean, he is really, I could not cut it down to one episode. So it’s a two parter. I believe it ran last summer. Um, And I interviewed him from a hotel room in like Buffalo or something. I think is where he was at the time. He’s really funny and self deprecating. He was just a total delight. And again, 1 of these people that I was like, oh, can I just stay in touch?
You’re such a sweet guy. He was like, 30 or something. So that, yeah, so that’s, that’s how I, um, got in touch with him, but, and I also realized I didn’t answer part of your earlier question about some of the challenges. Do you want me to circle back to that? Because I would say there’ve been a few technical challenges, but I’m lucky because my husband is kind of technical.
I know a lot of [00:40:00] podcasters I’ve talked to have said that’s their number one thing is, but I am not technical, but I have somebody who helps me with that. So for me, the biggest part is. Um, like I mentioned earlier, just the marketing and the frustration of being like, I’ll put a lot into this and then think, I don’t know the best way to get the word out about this because I’ll read all these articles about like best practices to get word out about your podcast and there may be like eight things and it’s like, I can’t do all of those eight things for each episode.
Or they’ll say, do social media. And I’m like, I didn’t really, I wasn’t even on social media before I started my podcast. So do I spend all this time building up a social media audience? And people are like, no, that’s not worth it. You should, you should do newsletters and you should do Facebook. You should do promo swaps.
You should do that. You know, and I’m like, okay, you should get yourself in your local newspapers. You should, I’m like, it all sounds great, but there’s only 24 hours in the day. And I’m not going to spend. [00:41:00] Every minute of the day promoting my podcast. And so trying to decide which of these avenues to go down.
And that feels overwhelming to me. And so I sometimes just feel like I put up the white flag and go, let me just make my episode and, you know, and I kind of give up. So
Adam Baruh: I think the confusion because yeah, you see, there’s so much online, you know, when, when you start looking into like all the content that’s out there, they’re going to tell you 500 different things, right? Um, I think that, yeah, there’s some recipes that may work for one podcast, but they’re not going to work for another or another type of podcaster.
I mean, I’m a Gen Xer and it’s funny cause I work in technology. But like, I had to go to my older kids and be like, guys, help me out with TikTok. I don’t even know what to do here. Like, every time I go into TikTok, it thinks I’m some middle aged perverted man, right? And I’m, trust me, I’m not searching for stuff.
In fact, it like kind of [00:42:00] turned me off of it. So I, I stopped using it. Um, but. You know, now it’s like, Oh, everybody, you know, as a podcaster, you got to be making sure you’re doing as much as you can with short form video and tick tock needs to be a part of it. So, so like the other day I posted my first tick tock video.
I’m like, I don’t even know who’s going to find this. I mean, I guess some people have been commenting on it. So, um, but it’s interesting, like, and I think, I think the answer is really, you know, what, what works for you as a person, what works for you as a host and what fits into your, your podcast structure.
But what would you say to us would be. You know, in your experience for your podcast, can you point to like maybe one like best advice that you could give to our audience here in terms of growing and really, you know, getting your podcast out there and, and doing it in a way where you, you can see that your audience is growing because of this thing that you’re doing.
Is there some, is there some like. [00:43:00] Silver bullet that you can, uh, that works for you, that you can advise our audience here today.
Elizabeth Garr: Boy, I wish I don’t think so. I think it’s just been kind of slow and steady. I have not seen a silver bullet yet. I think it’s just staying with it is my only non silver, my, my tarnished bullet. It’s just not going away. My consistent
Adam Baruh: You actually said something pretty, this is, this is actually pretty profound advice. And, and I’m going to, I’m going to summarize it for you. If I may, it sounds like what you’re recommending is patients. And I do highly agree with that because it does take a long time. You know, you’re not. Going to drop a new podcast and all of a sudden you’re going to be at 10, 000 downloads per month like it takes a long time and you know it you might get to a point where you start to get [00:44:00] disappointed by the numbers that you’re seeing and like Question like do I keep going or not?
But patience as you just kind of described I think is such a profound and valuable tool as a podcaster because it Somebody, I think it was maybe Alex Sanfilippo or somebody that I interviewed here said it takes about, I think it was Alex, it takes about two years when you get to that two year mark with your podcast, that’s when you actually start to see a lot of things start to kind of, you know, all that momentum that you’ve been building over the two years really starts to, you know, you can actually start to witness it a lot, a lot more at that point.
What would you say to that?
Elizabeth Garr: probably. I’m not there yet. I’m not at two years. So, but I’ve heard that as well. I’ve heard about two years and sometimes even like the five or six years until you really start to see, you know, being able to monetize unless you’re like a celebrity or have some major breakthrough. But so, I mean, patience is definitely the watchword.
And so behind [00:45:00] that, you need to have a topic. You really like, you know, choose your topic wisely. And then. Thank Like you had referenced earlier, get a schedule that works for you, get people around you that can, you know, be able to sustain this because otherwise you’re just going to burn out pretty quickly and fast.
And, uh, it’s, um, it’s going to be hard to keep going when you’re not seeing those numbers. It’s not, it’s not just a, a rising, you know, um. Diagonal line, like you’re hoping, I mean, what’s interesting for me, because mine is kind of evergreen, all my episodes, you could listen to anytime. They’re not topical.
So I’ll get my reports and sometimes episodes will have a lot of downloads that I, I released, you know, 16 months ago or something. And I’ll think like, oh, why did people like that one this week? But people just kind of go through the catalog and whatever interests them. So I guess I’m kind of lucky that way because it’s not, I’m not like on politics or something.
Adam Baruh: Right. That’s timely or whatever. [00:46:00] All right. Well, as we come to a close here today, I always wrap with the same two questions. And so they’re on the theme of discoveries. And so the first question is in your podcasting journey, and I know you’ve probably spoken about a number of discoveries that you’ve already, you’ve already discussed them here, but are there any others that That you want to highlight discoveries you’ve made in your podcasting journey, just about podcasting, just the business of being a podcaster.
Elizabeth Garr: I think, um, to be open to change in yourself and be open to the challenges because like I said earlier, I, I felt like I knew some, and I knew there was some that I didn’t know, but. I also made a little mental note that part of the reason I wanted to start this was because I wanted a challenge. [00:47:00] And so I often have to go back and remind myself that because when challenges come up, that’s actually part of the reason I did this.
If I wanted to do something easy, I would have done something I already know how to do and just stayed in my lane. But this is part of the fun is the challenge. Or the challenge is part of the fun. It goes both ways. And so I think that you have to kind of remind yourself, come up with little mantras like that because when the, um, tough days come or the, the little, um, friction comes, that’s all part of the journey.
Adam Baruh: Yeah. I love that. Um, all right. So final question again on this theme of discovery, and you’ve mentioned a few already, but you know what, hold on one second. I forgot to put my do not disturb on. Okay. What are some of the personal discoveries that you’ve made in your podcasting experience that [00:48:00] where you perhaps learned something about yourself that you didn’t know before?
Elizabeth Garr: There’ve actually been quite a lot. That’s a really insightful question. Um, I’ll try to make this short. I, Realize that, um, I have a lot of confidence in some ways, but I realized deep down, I have had a lot of self doubt and doing this podcast, I’ve had to confront that quite a bit because the self doubt will rise up at during the challenging times and I’ll think, oh, I can’t do this, or this is not going to happen or this.
And I have to overcome that and say, yeah, Of course I can. I have this intelligence or this background or I can figure this out. And so I’ve had to confront my, that little voice in my head many, many [00:49:00] times and just sort of tamp it down. So I’ve learned about that because I think often I have, I have been staying in the safe lane.
I haven’t challenged myself in this way for a while. And so, like, Taking myself, you know, into this, uh, zone. Um, this voice comes up more. So it’s been interesting, but kind of exciting. You know, I’ve grown a lot through it.
Adam Baruh: I love that. That’s great. Well, that’s a great way to close for today. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. It’s been a pleasure to meet you and to get to speak with you and very excited to hear about what you’re doing in your podcasting journey. So thank you so
Elizabeth Garr: Thanks so much. Great questions. It’s been really fun to talk to you.
Adam Baruh: Thank you.
Elizabeth Garr graduated with honors from Harvard College with a degree in history and literature and promptly attended professional cooking school to become a food writer. She’s worked on the television food network, [00:50:00] PBS and E, and she earned a graduate degree in documentary film and video from Stanford university and currently hosts the, what it’s like to podcast.
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