S02E03: Let’s Get Schooled in Podcasting: Dave Jackson (Part 2)

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Dave Jackson

It’s Part 2 with Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting. We’ll be chatting about why you’re starting a podcast, who your audience is, and really dig deeper into the world of podcasting. Plus, we’ll give you more details on the New Media Expo and some tips on attending the conference.

How You Can Prepare for the New Media Expo



It’s simple: bring paper and pencils. The amount of information and the things that you will learn during the sessions at the NMX are practically limitless. You’d also be surprised about what you can learn in the hallways after sessions, or just by hanging out! It’s definitely a huge learning experience, and the best way to take in as much as possible is to write it all down.

First-Time Podcasters

For people who would like to start podcasting, Dave suggests that you answer these questions:

  1. Why are you starting a podcast? If you don’t know the WHY, you’ll never figure out the HOW.
  2. Who’s your audience? If you know your target audience, you can deliver value and most importantly you will know how to entertain them.
  3. Focus on one subject/area and write down your ideas for your first 10 episodes.

Dave’s Biggest Learning Experience

For Dave, his biggest mistake was when he created a show just to make money―and did it because of a dare! The show was called the “Dates from Hell Show”, where people go on a date and share their most embarrassing moment. It was poorly thought-out, and as a result they failed to grow the audience. Eventually he had to take it down, as it became hard to produce and he wasn’t really enjoying it.

Fake It ’Til You Make It

You might not believe this, but Dave was actually more of an introvert when he was 15. He was almost fired from his job because he was too shy! Dave’s obviously not the same person now. His advice: Act the way you want to be, and someday you’ll be the way you act. If you want to podcast, don’t be afraid that you’ll look stupid or something like that, because after you think you did something out of character, you’ll realize that you’re still standing and you made it through.

Final Advice: You Can Always Change Your Podcast

Once you begin making your podcast, you may encounter roadblocks, difficulties and even failures. For example, if you’re not getting the audience that you wanted, don’t be afraid to change your podcast. A lot of podcasters like Michael Hyatt, Cliff Ravenscraft, Cali Lewis of Geek Beat TV, and Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty all began with a different podcast and are now very successful with their podcasts, which underwent change. So don’t be afraid to start and then go in a different direction if needed. Dave quotes Zig Ziglar’s well-known statement to wrap off the interview and to emphasise his point: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Want To Hear More from Dave?

Visit his website, School of Podcasting; join in the fun at Ask the Podcast Coach, live every Saturday at 10:30am EST; or learn more about the New Media Expo. Hope you enjoyed our two-part show with Dave, and as always, listen until the end of the episode to claim our special offer :)

Join us next week as we’ll be talking to Fei Wu, an amazing woman from Beijing. She now lives in the USA and is a digital producer and part-time podcaster. She’s also worked as a bilingual DJ and has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do! Stay tuned!

S02E02: How to Follow Your Passion with Podcasting: Dave Jackson (Part 1)

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Dave Jackson

Director of Podcasting at NMX: Dave Jackson

In this episode, we talked about the New Media Expo and what Dave Jackson is really passionate about.

What’s New with Dave Jackson?

We’ve talked to Dave before on the Music Radio Creative Podcast (Episode 32 and Episode 33), back in 2013. But a lot has changed since then!

  • Dave is now the Director of the New Media Expo
  • He’s launched his book, More Podcast Money
  • Co-hosted the Ask The Podcast Coach – a live show where they answer questions about podcasting
  • Created the Podcast Review Show, where podcasters can get their show reviewed
  • Got more than a million downloads of his podcast, The School of Podcasting
  • More importantly, he’s helped hundreds of people launch their successful podcasts

New Media Expo – NMX 2015 in Las Vegas

New Media Expo (NMX) is an annual convention that’s happening in April 2015. It’s a conference for all types of content creators, so if you’re a blogger, vlogger or podcaster, and you want to learn anything and everything related to new media, you have to be there! You’ll learn many amazing and useful things like how to start, monetize and grow your audience. Plus, what’s exciting about this year in particular is that NMX is working side by side with the National Association of Broadcasters. So to say that it’s going be a huge event is an understatement.

Adam Carolla, who currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most downloaded podcast; Norm Pattiz, broadcasting entrepreneur; and Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income are just some of the keynote presenters. Dennis Miller and Emily Morse will be hosting the 2015 Podcast Awards. Dave mentions how interesting this year’s NMX will be, as there will be a bunch of attendees from traditional broadcasting, who crossed over to new media (and vice versa).

Dave Jackson’s Life Passion

As mentioned earlier, Dave has created several podcast shows. Most of these are about podcasting, but he also covers other topics, namely Logical Weight Loss and Weekly Web Tools. His passion for these subjects is what inspired the podcasts.

Logical Weight Loss

Dave has been trying to lose weight since he was 25, and the Logical Weight Loss show was born out of his passion to live right, lose weight and live long. People like it because it’s coming from a person who is not a doctor, nor a fitness trainer, but simply a regular person who’s trying to lose weight.

Weekly Web Tools

Another passion of Dave’s is web design; he has been designing websites for many years now. He loves to geek out with software and new technology, and be creative with it. So he designed Weekly Web Tools to help people who want to build their website, get more traffic and convert sales without the need for technical knowledge. All you need to do is to point, click and be done with it.

Dave the Teacher

After receiving his Associate’s Degree in Electronics Engineering, Dave got a job as a copier technician, eventually moving into customer service, where he taught customers how to run the equipment (which was Dave’s first step into training). Dave’s passion for technology and teaching has moved him between different departments in the company. He has taught companies how to run giant scanners, gave classes on how to surf the Internet and many, many more subjects. Dave has been helping people to understand technology for more than 20 years now.

Tools to Purchase If You Only Had $500 to Start Podcasting

Digital Audio Workstation

  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Adobe Audition

Greatest Achievement in Podcasting

Dave is proud that his reputation led him to become the Director of Podcasting at New Media Expo. But it feels more rewarding when he gets to help people reach their goals and make their life a little better by them teaching them a new set of skills.

Who Do You Look up to for Inspiration?

Howard Stern for creating driveway moments, and Madonna, U2 or people who constantly chameleoned themselves over the years to stay relevant.

Stay Tuned…

Join us next week for Part 2 with Dave Jackson! (And don’t forget to listen right until the end of our show for the special offer!)

S02E01: Channelling Your Inner Voice Artist: Rachael West

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Today we’re diving into the world of voice-overs with American voice actor and on-camera talent, Rachael West. You might recognise her name (or voice!): she can also be found on MRC’s website. We’re going to talk about her journey in the field of audio production, tips & tricks, and even some influential people she’s met. All that and more in this episode with Kyran Mountain and Rachael West.

American Female Voice Over - Rachael West

American Female Voice-Over: Rachael West

Rachael West works in Denver, Colorado, but she travels quite a bit when projects call or when vacation time arrives.  She showed an interest in acting very early on in life, when she created her alter ego, Brooke Woode―at the age of 3! Brooke wore fancy hats and spoke in a very “sophisticated and cultured” tone.  Rachael still channels Brooke in her work today.

Brooke Wood at 3 years old

Brooke Woode at 3 years old

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) in 2005, with an emphasis in Theatre: Acting and Directing.  She graduated summa cum laude and had the honour of delivering the commencement address to her graduating class.

Rachael has done all kinds of things: she’s worked at The Moose (100.7) in Grand Junction, Colorado, and then moved to Denver to finish her radio career at KYGO (98.5).  During her eight years of country radio mastery, she developed an obsession with Keith Urban, having seen him perform live five times!

How Did She Get into the Voice-Over World?

Everyone has their own story of how they got to where they are, and Rachael’s started when she was really young.  As we mentioned earlier, it began with Brooke Woode: a little girl who had this flare for the dramatic and liked to hear herself talk (that’s essential if you want to be a voice artist!). Rachael did Theatre in elementary school and always loved to play around with recording software, like Parrot Talk in the ’90s. She was always recording herself reading anything out loud―from newspapers to the back of a salad dressing. It became an obsession, which drove her mother crazy!

Later on she went to college for Theatre, and really dove into learning about acting and what it meant. Then she happened to be in the right place and at the right time when she got into radio. She graduated and had completed her acting degree. She wanted to move to Denver, so she sought out KYGO, which was the #1 Country radio station at the time. She convinced them to hire her and then moved to Denver to work the overnight shift.

When she began working for KYGO, Rachael witnessed a change starting to happen in the terrestrial radio industry. Everyone in the industry that she knows has moved on; they’re either in New York City or Orlando―all these big markets. She didn’t really want to move, so when her position at KYGO became redundant, she thought, “You know what, I’ve always wanted to try this voice-over thing. It seems like a good combination of acting and my background in radio. So how does this work?”

Now coming from a radio station, you’re used to working with mics and you know how recording works. But she quickly learned that there’s a lot more to the voice-over industry than just that. It was a learning experience for Rachael; she started her own company back in 2009, but it took almost two years before she was really up and running.

Who Inspires Rachael West?

Growing up, Rachael really admired Jodie Foster because she always seemed to have interests outside of acting. Rachael tries to do the same; to not be just an actor, but a well-rounded person―that means educating herself in as many other things as possible, and having experiences outside of the business.

She also looks up to the late Don LaFontaine. She got the chance to meet him at the very first voice conference in Las Vegas. Rachael loved his nature; he was a great spirit and very friendly. He took the time to talk to everybody at the meet and greet. That experience made Rachael think about the other side of this business, which is connecting with people; inspiring others in whatever change we can effect; and just being a good steward of the industry and helping people along the way.

What Is Her Big Success Story?

Entering into her 6th year of officially doing voice-overs and acting,  there have been a lot of great successes. Even more so, there have been plenty  of learning experiences. One day she wants to write a book that’s about all of the trials, tribulations and lessons she’s learned as an actor and a talent. One of the highlights was when she got to be in a Walmart commercial a few years ago, which aired nationally. Currently, Rachael has many great, consistent clients for voice-over and on-camera projects.

Learning Experiences

The most important thing that Rachael learned is to just settle into herself, because it’s so easy to go in and have this high energy, “I’m in an audition, this is amazing! I’m gonna do an amazing job!” And then you end up not paying attention to what the client is looking for. Rachael’s advice is to just be comfortable with yourself, particularly during on-camera auditions. Because if you don’t do that, people can tell right away―just like an animal can smell fear!

Best Advice for Those Who Are Just Starting Out?

Rachael’s a big believer in getting to know yourself―you as the instrument, whether it’s just voice, just on-camera or both. You are your instrument and if you don’t know yourself, and you don’t know what it is you’re offering, you’re at a disadvantage. There are many more people out there who do know what it is that they offer, and they can do it at the drop of a hat. She emphasises the importance of really getting to know yourself, and to be okay with making mistakes and using them as a teaching experience.

Tools & Resources

She definitely cannot do her job without the Internet: email, social media, and various blogs and websites. Rachael mentions backstage.com, which is a good online resource because it combines acting and voice-over; you get a good mixture of the actor’s perspective and you’ll get good voice-over advice as well. When Rachael has the time and isn’t working, she visits those blog sites to see what people are talking about and to check what casting directors might be posting.

Rachael has had a home studio for nine years, which has gone through many, many stages. Right now the set-up can be best described as a converted closet, but it’s soundproofed to the best of her ability; it has full-on studio regulation monitors; her production computers; Adobe Audition, which she use for editing; and the Neumann TLM 67 Condenser Microphone.

Fun Story: Blanket Forts

When Rachael travels for on-camera work, she brings studio set-up because she still has those regular voice-over projects that need to be delivered. So now, over time, she’s developed this recording technique: when she checks into a hotel, she asks for extra pillows and at least two extra comforter blankets. She then uses those to set up a makeshift sound booth in the room. After she does that, she puts the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, so that housekeeping cannot see what she’s been doing.

Voice-Overs from Rachael

If you want to hear more from Rachael West, you can check her out on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, or visit her website. Your can also get her fantastic voice right here from the Music Radio Creative site.

Plus, we’re giving away a special offer―don’t miss out, listen right until the very end of this episode to claim it! Join us next week to chat with a very special guest: Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting!