VOICE ENTREPRENEUR WITH BEN SMITH #24
<6 min listen by audio:
Start a Voice Brief and Podcast: All the gear and equipment you need
The number one question I get asked on Voice Entrepreneur is what gear is required to start a new Alexa voice briefing, voice skill, or a new podcast. I truly believe that the best content now begins as audio and video, and then gets cut down to text and social media formats later. If you’re not creating audio as a blogger, influencer, business, or individual, I think you’re missing at least half of the game. When I create audio every day, it starts on Amazon Alexa, and then goes to iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher and beyond.
So many people tell me they are part of the “tiny minority” that find reading more efficient than audio and video. And I agree with them! But I remind them that reading is not always the most efficient way to consume information. Audio content can be consumed while driving, riding the train, working out at the gym, washing the dishes, and beyond. In those situations, listening to audio is clearly more efficient than reading.
So what gear do you need to get in the game? I was shocked to find out it’s much less gear than you probably thought. In fact, when I got started with Voice Entrepreneur, I simply used my laptop speaker to record the first three episodes. The sound quality was terrible, but I spent no money, and I got the message out. Once I felt like I was serious about creating audio every day, I decided to go out and get some gear. Once I discovered how easy it all is to put out quality voice briefings and podcasts, my only regret is that I waited this long to get started.
Beyond my trusty 6 year old laptop, it turned out I only needed to buy two key items!
Here is what I bought:
The Zoom H6 Recorder is one smooth piece of recording equipment. This is the recorder, the device you will use to record your sound files. You don’t need any sort of mixer or other fancy complicated looking equipment. The H6 records to an SD card, instead of a laptop. You’ll plug your microphone directly into the H6, and then use a USB wire to send the raw files over to your laptop. Super easy. It has 6 channels, so you can interview other people through skype or over your cell phone when you’re ready.
Again, I couldn’t believe it was as easy as ordering the H6 on Amazon, plugging it in, and hitting record. You can always user more complicated equipment down the line, but I’m in love with the H6, and I think you’ll find it the best way to get started if you’re as “technically challenged” as me.
The Electro-Voice RE20 Microphone is like a fine bottle of wine! Smooth and majestic. Lots of people will suggest cheaper microphones that are under $100. And I think if you’re on a severe budget, go for a $70 microphone. But please remember: the microphone is the #1 way to improve your sound quality. It takes no extra editing knowledge or extra editing time to sound amazing. You get a RE20 and you suddenly sound like you’re broadcasting on a major FM radio level. This microphone is considered a classic. In fact, the company has been around since 1928 and has its own wikipedia page. I noticed that lots of the major podcast folks including Bill Simmons uses RE20s, and so I decided to pull the trigger. I’m so happy I did make the decision, and I think you should just go for it too. And by the way— Beyond plugging it into the H6, there is no other set-up or complicated process to learn! It’s advisable to get a stand for the mic so it’s off the table, but beyond that, you are good to go.
Now that you know the basics on gear, don’t forget to learn more about How to create Alexa skills in 5 minutes, How to start a voice startup in 5 minutes, and How to market your voice skills and podcasts so people actually listen.
And remember, once you’re in the “game”, everything changes. Audio is so powerful because people can now get to know you on a much deeper level than the written word. When you broadcast voice skills and podcasts, you will be surprised by how many people are excited and curious to get to know you and what you have to offer. I keep telling people that Alexa voice briefings are so powerful because they are so personal. I’m a daily voice in many people’s bedrooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms. You CAN do this, so stop putting it off. Save up and get this basic gear, and you’ll be on your way.
If you have questions, hit me up. Voice Entrepreneur is here for you. As always, thanks for reading.