I have a great pastor. Leslie Stevens has been my preacher for 5 years or so. She’s currently preaching a series called “What Happened to the Third Verse” where she’s taking little preached on verses or passages of the Bible and illuminating them a bit.
This week, she preached on the story of Shamgar, as found in Judges 3:31 -
After him (Ehud) was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.
She used as the crux of her discussion a book linked here:
Pat Williams, the founder of the Orlando Magic wrote that with some friends and as the book jacket shows you, the message of Shamgar boils down to this:
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Shamgar used an Oxgoad, which is effectively a long cattle prod with a hook as well as a point, because that’s what he had. He started his one-man war against the invading Philistines (one imagines) right there at his own farm. And 600 is his tally of defeated enemies because that was what he could do. It wasn’t world-altering, and yet “he also saved Israel”.
Alright, enough preamble. What in the world does any of this have to do with Podcasting? I’m a professional podcast editor and producer. I work for businesses and brands and solo-entrepreneurs that use their podcasting as a marketing funnel, an educational channel for their clients and customers and credibility for their knowledge and expertise in their industry or field. These are serious folks and they take their shows seriously. But they all have one thing in common, that anyone reading this can imitate.
They got started.
You cannot have a podcast if you don’t publish an episode. And then another one and another one and so forth. So, follow our friend, Shamgar and start where you are.
If you don’t have anyone in your circle that’s interested in podcasting, and no online connections that are either? Then make a solo show.
Don’t have a business or brand to promote, but you’re desperate to join this new medium and get your voice out there while you “figure that money stuff out”? Well, podcast about your hobby, passion or the JOURNEY to find that business, brand or product. Start where you are.
Sure, Joel. But what am I gonna make this podcast with? I don’t have the Rhodecaster Pro or 6 Shure SM7b’s or 3 iMac Pro’s running the latest updates of Adobe Audition and RX7.
Well, you’re reading this on a computer right? Or a smartphone? Or a tablet? Guess what? Every single one of those is a better podcasting tool than an Oxgoad was a weapon of war for Shaggy. (I think we’re all familiar enough to call him Shaggy now, aren’t we?) Use what you have.
The Lightning cable earbuds that come with every iPhone (and most iPads I think still) make a very decent starter microphone, especially if you’re doing short solo recordings in a decently quiet environment. Cheap starter mics are available like (my favorites) the Knox KN UM01, Audio Technica ATR2100 or Pyle PDMic58 if you’re using more than one mic locally, you’ll also need an audio adapter for that but still those are very affordable: )
What about recording space? Again, start where you are, use what you have. Do you have a large walk-in closet? A quiet office? A comfy bedroom? Any of those can work with a little thought and prep (and warnings to the family not to bother you). Even in the extreme case that none of these work for you, your car or the local library might offer spaces that you wouldn’t normally consider but, it turns out are just fine for the task.
And what do you podcast about and for just how long?
Well, once again let’s follow our friend Shaggy. Do what you can. Maybe what you can do is one season of a podcast about your favorite tv show. That’s JUST FINE. Maybe it’s a ten episode series on your family’s history in your state or region. That’s exquisite. Maybe it’s just 3 episodes breaking down the three actionable takeaways from your favorite Bible story, Shamgar.
Well, that last one might not be a huge hit, but if you can download them by RSS and you can subscribe to it in Apple Podcasts, it totally counts too, so get to it (but credit the authors above).
Podcasting is a beautiful, intimate art form, as well as a great tool for marketing and branding or education and entertainment. It’s as flexible as you want to make it, but you have to start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.
If you’re getting started, Captivate.fm is a great place to host those new podcast episodes, check them out here and get 7 days free, as well as the ability to host multiple podcasts at the same monthly rate.
We talk about the problems podcasters face as well as give commentary and context for the latest podcasting industry news every week on Always Listening.
And if you’d like consultation or actual hands-on help with launching, editing or publishing your podcast, I’d love to help you.