Whew, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind! In case you missed it, the HoneyBook team and I recently launched the Independent Business Podcast â€¦
This is a podcast that has lived in my heart for years. Now, weâ€™re finally bringing you the insider secrets, hot takes, data-driven deep dives, and strategic know-how that will empower you to make smarter decisions within your independent business.
Heck, even though weâ€™re only part of the way through season one, but weâ€™ve already covered a ton of ground:
And the feedback weâ€™ve received from you all has been nothing short of heartwarming and inspiring:
(Weâ€™re so glad you love it, but remember, YOU ALL are the reason and the inspiration behind every episode we publish!)
In addition to this feedback, one of the most common questions Iâ€™ve gotten about the podcast is about the equipment we use!
Thatâ€™s why, today, Iâ€™m excited to share the equipment that we use behind the scenes of the Independent Business Podcast, as well as some of the lessons Iâ€™ve learned going through this process of taking a podcast hosting dream to reality.
But before I get into it, I have to give a shout out to videographer and podcast producer extraordinaire Tyler Herrinton.
While I wish I could say I went into this process already a pro about podcasting and equipment, that couldnâ€™t be further from the truth. Once we chose Riverside as our recording platformâ€”there was still a lot of work to do. Every step of the way, Tyler helped me make the right equipment choices based on my goals with his unparalleled guidance and expertise, and he trained me on how to use it.Â
Thank you, Tyler!
As a thank you to Tyler for all of his incredible support, please note that the links below are affiliate links from him. That means he may be compensated for any purchases made through the links below.
The HoneyBook creative team already had the Sony Alpha 7 and a 28-70mm lens kit that we chose to use as our external camera. You can use any high quality camera to film your podcast though and the equipment below will enable you to do that.
Cloudlifter Mic activator, which boosts the audio signal from the mic to make it usable; without it, the signal would be too quiet to be picked up.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd generation USB audio interface for studio quality recording, plus these two microphone cables. (Basically, this bad boy makes it so my computer can recognize my mic as an input device for platforms like Zoom and Riverside.)
Two of these amaran 200d LED video lights
Aputure light dome II studio reflector, which diffuses the lighting on me, so you can see me, but I donâ€™t look too washed out! (Itâ€™s a big light!)
Aputure lantern softbox, which I use to light the background â€“ itâ€™s a nice addition because it means I can control the lighting of the background independently from everything else.
Yes, thereâ€™s a teleprompter involved â€” and itâ€™s crazy helpful, because Iâ€™m also able to see the faces of who Iâ€™m talking to during our conversation, while also staying on track with my talking points!
And then we have a few cables and batteries to round out the camera and teleprompter setup, so it all runs smoothly:
Youâ€™re right, it is! However, while this setup works for what we need for the Independent Business Podcast, you donâ€™t need to invest at this scale to get started on your own podcasting adventure.
â€œKeep it simple,â€ Tyler says. â€œYour setup doesnâ€™t have to be uber-complicated. And the most important thing you want to focus on is your audio â€” thatâ€™s what matters most when it comes to podcasting.â€
According to Tyler, even though bringing video into the mix with your podcast can be a smart move from both an accessibility and shareability standpoint, your audience cares more about the audio quality of your podcast and will be more forgiving if your video isnâ€™t exactly perfect.
â€œHonestly, if you have an iPhone made within the last five years, youâ€™re already good to go in the video department,â€ he notes.
In fact, let’s talk about what other options Tyler recommends if you’re looking for an approach to podcasting that’s a bit more accessible and streamlined. Because you may have big, bold podcasting dreams, but you may not need all the bells and whistles I shared above.
Shure MV7 USB microphone (just as effective as mine, and cost efficient) …
…and this Neewer microphone suspension stand!
This logitech webcam is crazy powerful, according to Tyler!
The Aputure Amaran 60D is a great daylight LED video light with Bluetooth app control
And this Aputure Light Dome Mini will help you soften your lighting in a more confined space.
You might also find this desktop light stand helpful, if you need a good way to mount your lighting!
Now, what you choose from this list really is going to depend on what your goals are. If you’re mostly focused on the audio of your podcast, you should prioritize audio equipment in your budget, Tyler says:
“Remember, when it comes to your audio, if you can buy the best that you can the first time, that’s something you won’t need to replace later â€” or at least for a very long time.”
Then you can integrate video with webcam options, or even your phone, and upgrade that over time as video becomes more pressing for you. Seriously, do not underestimate some of the equipment you may already have in your home â€” you may not need to purchase as much as you think to get started.
Often, the difference between “good” and “great” with podcast audio/video comes down to small things that have nothing to do with the equipment you’ve purchased. Here are a few of my favorite recommendations from Tyler, to show you what I mean …
From the start, we knew wanted to purposefully make the podcast as accessible as possible â€” and we worked closely with others to guarantee we were laying the right foundation for that to be possible.
So, from the start, we knew weâ€™d be publishing the podcast in a video format, in addition to audio.Â This led to choosing Riverside as our recording platform… and from there I had a little more to learn.
Was I excited? Yes! But I also had a little anxiety, because the quality of the equipment we used to produce the show had to be top-notch. And my recent interview with Xayli Barclay on the importance of authentic video to build trust as a business really underscores that in retrospect:
I remember thinking to myself, â€œAm I even qualified to be creating content at this level? Iâ€™ve never really focused on creating high-quality video before, so what do I know about doing it well?â€
Overall, the idea felt intimidating. I knew I wanted to create high quality content for you all through the Independent Business Podcast, but I feared I didnâ€™t have the chops to make it happen. (See, even the girl who writes a book called Gutsy has her own fear gremlins.)
Thatâ€™s when I realized I needed to challenge myself in a way that I encourage you all to try when youâ€™re on the edge of diving into the unknown â€¦
As you level-up as an independent business owner, you can all too easily become discouraged as you continue to grow when you face new challenges. Maybe itâ€™s learning new equipment as you embark on your own podcasting adventure, or it could be something entirely different.
Thatâ€™s why Tyler says you shouldnâ€™t be afraid to ask for help during any new journey you undertake â€” but particularly with podcasting and video:
â€œThereâ€™s nothing worse than spending an hour or two recording something, only to have it not be usable because of an equipment issue. When it comes to technology, a lot of things can go wrong. Donâ€™t let that discourage you from starting, but also donâ€™t be afraid to ask for help!â€
Whatever your next challenge may be, remember that no matter how far you go (and grow), you will still encounter opportunities and challenges along the way that put you back into the seat of being a beginner.
And thatâ€™s a good thing.
© 2023 Natalie Franke