Am I spending my time wisely?

Gregory Anne: And I have read myself, insane. The reason being is that YouTube is the biggest search engine, after Google or before Google or something like that. And people say, you should have them, you shouldn't have them. Nobody wants to see your face. You should just have a thumbnail. You should shorten them. So that's why I mentioned it to you because I wanted to get your take.

Mark: Welcome to what's your problem. Where I try and make podcasters lives easier. One issue at a time. My name's Mark Steadman. I'm a podcast producer, consultant and coach. And in this first episode, I'm speaking with Gregory Anne Cox of rebellious women over 50. Greg works with a couple of people to produce her interview podcast, transcribe it and upload her zoom conversations to YouTube. But she's wondering whether she's making the best use of her time and that I've heard team's.

Now a small caveat is that the audio quality in this recording is not what I would like. This is my first time using SquadCast and it's not SquadCast fault. It is a misconfiguration on my part, an error for which I regret and management. Uh, has uh promised to do better. So. Uh, I, uh, I do apologize, but it's a cracking conversation and so without further ado, let's get straight into it and check in with Gregory Anne Cox.

Gregory Anne: I don't know whether I'm using my time wisely to get the results that I want, because there are so many ways to get the information, get the podcast out there. Repurpose. I feel like I'm all over the board trying to do a million things. And I would like to take back some of my time and I don't really invest a lot of money with a team, but I do spend some money and that would be great also to get a handle on.

Mark: What kind of things are you getting help with?

Gregory Anne: The only thing I have helped with now thanks to Descript is I have somebody puts the, so I do like a little pre-interview intro, then a little clip of the intro, then the episode, and then a bumper various types. So he puts those things in place. And does anything that needs to like the other day I recorded one in the for some reason were very different than women was very loud. So he made it more equal for me. Those are things I don't know how to do.

Mark: So he's doing that presumably in some sort of audio editing app and then what, what do you get back from him?

Gregory Anne: So I get a separate file for the video and a separate file for the audio, with what I told you, that me having recorded like a little 32nd. Here's what we're going to talk about. Did you know, that kind of which thanks to you, Mark Steadman, I started doing that than just doing the boring intro every single week. So he just makes it sound good and gets all the pieces together for me. And he delivers me away to file an a, a, an MP3 a WAV and an MP4.

Mark: Can you walk me through the process from conceiving the episode idea or thinking about the guests that you want to work with it actually being live on Captivate?

Gregory Anne: Sure. I have a presence on a couple of. Podcast guest host applications. So I get requests to be on the podcast and I request other people to have me on their podcasts. So that kind of determines the what's going on in the podcast. I don't have a theme for the season or the year or anything like that.

So I schedule the interview. I do my homework and learn as much as I can about either the podcast. If I'm a guest or the guest, if I'm the host. And we usually spend a few minutes at the top of the recording session, getting the context set and make sure we're jiving. And we record, I then put it into Descript, and then I edit with both the audio, of course it does the video for us.

Then I have to make sure the transcript, even though I've done it in descript, sometimes it's not always perfect when you get it back. And I find that their timestamping is horrendous, no matter what, however, if I say, I don't want to timestamp more than every two minutes, it'll come like every two seconds, every 20, it doesn't matter. But so then I have to fix that and that's time consuming.

I send that to my VA who is different from the editing guy. My VA makes it look pretty. And once I'm done with the Descript my audio guy has it back to me, I then go to Captivate and I upload it. I write show notes in the meantime. Once that's all done and it's in Captivate, my VA creates a page on my website with all of that good stuff, a picture of the person and my show notes that are linked for the transcript.

Mark: Why do you have to make the transcript pretty?

Gregory Anne: It's a personal bugaboo. I can read a transcript. Obviously our brain will fill in the things that are not correct, or, but I just feel like I'm a writer. My other businesses writing. So I feel like it's a thing to give people something that is as close to what we said as possible.

Mark: I know what you mean about the timestamps. And the accuracy is important. And so when I'm editing, because I do all of my editing in Descript and we'll potentially talk about that, from soup to nuts, as they say whereas I used to do something similar to what your editor does now, where I would potentially edit it in Descript to get rid of the ums and things like that and other sort of vocal ticks that people have, and then I would, they they still have an export feature. So you could throw the whole thing into your audio editing app of choice. And then I would export it from there, which adds more work.

I would look at first, whether there needs to be a lot of time spent making it pretty by hand and what could possibly be done to run it through a system that can maybe pretty it up automatically for you.

So over in the UK, we have a site called people per hour. I don't know if it exists in the U S something similar, like a Fiverr. I've had success with this kind of stuff before where you can just say to find a developer and just say, a thing that I want you to be able to do, I want you to make me a web page or a shortcut or something can upload this transcript. And I get out of that is something that is more presentable because there's probably a lot of of repeated work that could be done by a computer or a script.

Gregory Anne: What do you think about timestamps in general? I it's helpful for me with the show notes. If I figure somebody just re you know, and they'd go, oh my gosh, she just said, we are a battery with a soul, and then they want to hear more about that, but I don't want to write all about it. And I think the timestamp is important. I guess then if I could get the program to be more, give me less of them. I

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: necessarily. If they're happening every two or four seconds. yes, I delete, delete, delete,

Mark: So I think timestamps are useful if you've got lots of ads in timestamps, visibly on the transcript, I think are useful. If you've got lots of different kinds of content, if you've got lots of different speakers or you're doing like a narrative podcast, I think that kind of makes sense. But if it's a conversation between two people, I don't know that you necessarily need to see the sort of 0, 0, 3 seconds, all that kind of stuff.

What you can do in Descript, two things that are useful. One of them is markers, which I like a lot, just so that you've got a bookmark of a, of an important bit in an episode so that you can then take that. The other one that I like is so I use this a lot when I'm editing for people. If the client that I'm working with wants me to maybe take some highlight videos, maybe for audio grams or actual bits of the. video, then I will, as I'm editing, I'll highlight a section, Oh, this seems like a good quote. This is probably a good one. And I'll highlight that. And it then means as you're scanning through the document, you, especially, if it's a long episode, you've got some points there that you can go, oh, that was like, that was a really good point there.

Gregory Anne: Oh, that's great. I didn't know about that.

Mark: What is the end game For you of what is the end goal of having a transcript?

Gregory Anne: For people that don't want to listen,

Mark: Ah, okay.

Gregory Anne: than I listen

Mark: Yes.

Gregory Anne: We all do, right?

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: And are times when I really am interested in the thing, but I don't have time to sit and I'm not going to drive the phone around with me while I'm listening. So I'll just download a transcript and read it when I want.

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: a matter of capturing more of an audience.

Mark: So then it's less important that it's timestamped.

Gregory Anne: Oh, that's a good point.

Mark: 'cause. Yeah. It's not a document of record of this interview, seconds, this, the witness said this um, you know, if it's just about not, I say just, but if it is about extending the this out and, to a readership, if you like then it just goes back to that point. Okay.

Now, We talked about YouTube. And, oh, you mentioned when you filled in the form for this episode that YouTube is part of your workflow. And I'm interested in that in terms of, do you record video with all your guests?

Gregory Anne: Unless they say they'd prefer not. And the reason being, and I have read myself, insane. The reason being is that YouTube is the biggest search engine, after Google or before Google or something like that. And there are like every good bit of science, which I cover both sides. People say, you should have them, you shouldn't have them. Nobody wants to see your face. You should just have a thumbnail. You should shorten them. So that's why I mentioned it to you because I wanted to get your take.

Mark: I think this is an interesting one. So the Edison research podcast, consumer tracker came out last year uh, that Tom Webster has talked a great deal about Tom Webster of Edison. We need to pay attention to the sleeping giant that is YouTube because some 18% of the people surveyed said that YouTube is their number one podcast listening platform. How were you recording the video conversations?

Gregory Anne: I just do I do my interviews on Zoom.

Mark: And then, so presumably you have a video that is your face on the left-hand side and the guest's face on the right hand side. Yeah.

That's where I get into the thing then of wondering how valuable that is given that what I think is more important is the audio aspect to the video. There are a few conflicting reports and I don't know which one is right, but I know Buzzsprout Captivate have done different things with this. And I tend to go with what Buzzsprout is saying, and I want it to others I think you've said the same thing is where people say video doesn't quote unquote doesn't work, or it's not good. They're usually talking about full length episodes often with a static image and maybe a wave form that's been automatically generated.

Libsyn does that. I used to do it with my old company and then I stopped doing it. And I rationalized that it was because they don't get very many views. And I think there was an assumption made that they don't get very many views because they're not of great value. Whereas my understanding of the work that Buzzsprout have done is they seem to believe it, they don't get very many views because the algorithm that determines how popular a video might be is confused if your full length videos and your highlight videos, let's say are on the same channel.

YouTube likes visual interest, YouTube likes lots of fast cuts and, you know, ADD. Whereas I, you know, you don't tend to get that with sort of two, two faces on a Zoom call. If you were mixing your media and having full episodes, and then some highlight packages, you're confusing the algorithm because it doesn't know what you are. Whereas you can have two channels under the same account, one for all the full length episodes and another one for the highlights and they're sizzly social type stuff.

Gregory Anne: So here's, it's confession time. Because of the time crunch. I don't even have all of my episodes on YouTube. And I guess the second part of this, which would then be more time is if you're not really engaging with YouTube channel it even worth it? Because people like to hear comments back from the people. I have people, clients that use my other business clients that use that, and they're constantly on there talking to their people because there are people want to hear from them and get out, but they get clients that way.

Mark: Yeah. I think there's two, there's sort of two U tubes here. There's the very active social, YouTube prime, we are making content for YouTube as opposed to making content that we put on YouTube.

Gregory Anne: oh, that's a great distinction.

Mark: And I think you're not a show that you are making for YouTube. And so, I think if you get comments on the episode, I think it's great too, to engage with those, but I wouldn't necessarily chase that if ultimately what you're making is primarily an audio show.

Gregory Anne: Yeah.

Mark: But I would say absolutely have those videos and have the if you're not getting all of those video episodes uploaded then perhaps using an automated tool like Headliner, they actually do as well as doing the little clips and the audio grams.

They will take your full episode and export it for you automatically based on your, I think you can literally just plug in your RSS feed into a headliner and it will generate those videos and upload them to YouTube. So obviously that's an extra fee, but it may work out cheaper than getting your than the time it takes your editor. Not that I want to

Gregory Anne: Hey, he's

Mark: you. know,

Gregory Anne: right. He's in Manchester.

Mark: oh really?

Gregory Anne: Brit

Mark: Ah yeah, not that I want to a bik him out of any work, but yeah it might be one of those where you can get an efficiency by doing that.

Gregory Anne: Yeah, no, I like that idea. I do. And I'll still do it on zoom. You know why?

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: see the person I'm

Mark: Oh, absolutely.

Gregory Anne: but I don't necessarily have to use that the way I was doing. So that's a

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: Thanks.

Mark: Pleasure. So going back to transcript. you were sort of asking whether it's worth it with the transcripts and I wholeheartedly think it is. I think we are going to enter into an era and we slightly perhaps are now where transcripts are becoming more and more expected. They're becoming more and more a sort of minimal thing. And I think with the tools that we have available, be it Otter or descript. The barrier to getting that done is getting lower and lower. Especially with Descript being pretty easy to use and really powerful.

Not that I want to tell you what to do with your, your editor, but it may be that you could collaborate with your editor within Descript, everything's in one place, you can comment on certain bits of the episode to say, leave this bit in, or maybe put a bit of music in here, that kind of thing. And both of you can work on the project rather than necessarily be pushing around static files if you like.

But I think, one of the reasons that people like transcript to, they say it's for SEO. Okay. That's fine. But obviously the. One of the other big reasons is, is accessibility. And I think we tend to think of that in terms of people who are profoundly or capital D deaf, whereas there are lots of other really good reasons for using transcripts or providing them, which is, you know, if you're speaking to someone who's got an accent that is perhaps a little bit harder to navigate when you're listening, if there's crosstalk, there's, something that people with hearing loss or who are a bit more hard of hearing can find crosstalk specifically, difficult to deal with. If there's background noise, if the core quality isn't very good. There are these little things.

My, my eyesight's very bad and I watch TV and, and enjoy TV and love the medium of TV. I've moved into using audio descriptions in certain places, because there's something that's got to be read on screen, if there's subtitles, audio descriptions are really useful for me. So I'm still absolutely consuming the full TV program, but I'm also getting a little bit of an assistance.

With the timestamp thing, even though you're not necessarily showing the transcript, the timestamps on your website, the file that the Descript has generated for you will have all those timestamps, and even know to the syllable, what is, which word is being placed where, and it can encode that information to show it on a a podcast app. So we will get to the point where you'll be able to open a podcast app be, be Overcast or, or Pocket Casts or something like that, and see the words that are being said right now, if that's been provided by, by the script and I, that it's a great thing to get on board with because, you don't want to be thinking about this in 2, 3, 5 years time and thinking, oh, I've got to go back through all of my episodes or I've got a few really popular episodes that people are complaining. Like If you get it done, now start making this part of your workflow as it already is, but sort of accepting the fact that podcast transcripts are part of the medium now..

Gregory Anne: I really, I honestly am attached to them. As I said, I want to get as many people engage with the, uh, podcast as possible.

Mark: Yeah.

Gregory Anne: There's just something about having, it just feels like a value add that is a no brainer

Mark: Yeah. Completely. And audio hosting is relatively cheap, but it's not free. Text documents are basically free and you can host them forever. And they are a simple text file that will never be in the wrong format. You will never have a computer that won't be able to read a simple text file. So you bike having these transcripts, you are preserving these conversations for many decades to come in ways that perhaps the audio might not be.

Gregory Anne: Yeah.

Mark: My first piece of advice is to look at editing the whole episode indescript because whether that's you're sticking with the video or not making that all part of the same workflow makes it really easy. Especially if you've done your passively, edit the sort of content edit, then you've sent it to your editor who's then going to clean it up and do all sorts of other things. If you then listen back and you have a particular thing you want to edit, you might actually just be able to find, you can just delete that yourself rather than having to again, get your editor to go and do that. So you might find that if you move the whole process into Descript, you can still add your music and, and, and those bumpers and work with your editor editor to do that. But you might find that there's certain little fiddly bits that actually become a bit easier.

So I do some hand correction and Descript, but I don't do tons of it. I'm getting more and more happy with the accuracy of it, but it has a few things where for some reason it gets into the habit of removing the last word of a sentence um, which can yeah, can often be important. That aside I'm relatively happy, so I don't tend to do, I'm not going to meticulously go through and hand correct. I will upload an AI transcript and I think and make that available because I think that there's so much better now. And as long as I'm I know that the information is being communicated in that transcript and it's not just a bunch of nonsense. Then yeah, I tend to go with it that way.

You mentioned looking at the analytics about how many people are using these transcripts. I would counsel against that.

Gregory Anne: Okay.

Mark: You know the reasons for doing this.

Gregory Anne: Yeah. Now it's sort of a moot question. As

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. You're sold on this. And I think the board fact is no one's gonna use them not now. But they might do later and someone will thank you for making that transcript available. And I think it's worth it for that.

Gregory Anne: Yeah.

Mark: As I said before when it comes to the YouTube thing, I think, I don't think this is a problem for you. It doesn't sound like it is, but just a general piece of advice. My understanding is if you're on YouTube and you're doing full episodes, but you're also doing highlight packages, keep those on separate channels because then you make the algorithm happy and you have a bit more of a chance in a search for your topic, your episode is going to appear.

Gregory Anne: That's good information for me too, because I'm starting that my shorties, so my full episodes are full, but then I packaged the new thing called wellness shorties. So they will be 15 minutes or less. So I'll put a separate channel. Yeah. A separate channel underneath my account. Yeah.

Mark: Huge youTube is like MKBHD hu big tech YouTube. That's what they do. They, they have separate channels. It's good for, the curation aspect, but it also does help the algorithm understand channels for this length and style and form of content. Uh, And you know, this one's for this style. So it does tend to work, I think.

Gregory Anne: That's great.

Mark: Why don't you tell and the listener give us the quick, thirty second elevator pitch for your podcast and where people can find it.

Gregory Anne: Okay. If you've woken up one day and realized that your body has a mind of its own. You're over 50. You're tired of looking at Dr Google for all the answers. When there are way too many, then you don't know who to trust, please come and visit, where you can find information links to the podcast, and I promise I will always give you science-based information, no BS, only all the good stuff to help you age better.

My thanks to Gregory Anne Cox for being my first guest on the podcast. You can find more information about me, more episodes of the podcast and a form to apply, to be on the show at what's your Take care of yourself and I'll speak to you again very soon.