Episode 84: Building Great Podcast Engagement Through Customer Experience and Community
In this episode, I sit down with Jen Edds, Head Broad in Charge of The Brassy Broadcasting Company. We dive into why Jen started her podcasting company. We go deeper into what is the epicenter for podcasting engagement - building conversations and community. Jen shares wonderful examples of when she started out and her experiences with Beauty and the Gi. Jen also gives great examples of how to build your podcasting audience. Jen's personality leaps out of the sound while helping her clients find the success in the simplest things. Her love to provide the best customer experience shows her love to help others to find their voice.
Sean Sullivan (19s):
Welcome to Converge Coffee with Sean Sullivan. I am here with Jen Edds. She is the Head Broad in Charge of The Brassy Broadcasting Company. She started working at podcasting as an editor in 2014 and has shifted the focus of her work to taking clients from launch to legendary and their own podcasting journeys. Jen EDDs curiosity and lifelong passion for music that fueled her DIY attitude. She loves audio gear and gadgets, but appreciate simplicity and keeping it to the basic of the most basic tools to get the job done. In addition to producing the Brassy broadcast, she also co-hosts and produces the Beauty and the GI podcast that I am going to correct you on that. It's being the biggie.
Sean Sullivan (1m 1s):
Sorry. Thank you. Beauty and the GI AI is not the, GI a podcast about practicing Brassy Brazilian. Now I'm getting tongue tied, Brazilian jujitsu. What did I get that one, right? Yeah. You got that. Thanks Jen for being on this show. How you doing? Today great. It's wonderful to be here. I know we were talking, I mean, we were already talking about podcasting and it's been about a year since we've been chatting, just life happening. And now with, you know what, I'm just going to say 2020. I'm not going to even just say COVID or just 20, 20, but I kind of want to dive right into it. Cause you've got a lot of stuff kind of coming out in 2021, but I obviously we want to talk about, but you know, backtracking here, if kind of the start of it, all I think has kind of the best way to kind of start it from the kind of at the beginning, not when you were born, but when the, when the, when the business of sports, so M why did you start the Broad?
Jen Edds (1m 59s):
You know, the Brassy Broadcasting Company well, once upon a time I worked on a soul sucking cube farm under fluorescent lights, and it was one of those things where I didn't hate my job. I loved my coworkers. I love my clients. I was doing inside sales in. I just knew it was not when I was put on this earth to do. And my wife got kind of tired of hearing me complain about it. She was like, then will you stop and figure out what you are supposed to be doing? And so I quit, I quit my job, took some time to kind of regroup and figure out I've I've been a lifelong musician.
Sean Sullivan (2m 43s):
I've got a degree in music in business. I knew I wanted to use that somehow, but I didn't really know what that looked like. So I took some audio production classes and then a friend was like, Hey, I know these nuns that do a podcast. I would like to give them custom theme music for Christmas. Could you write
Jen Edds (3m 0s):
It? And that was like, well, if you're going to write me a check and I'm not working right now, I'm going to figure out what custom theme music for a Podcast for nuns sounds like, yes, I will do that. And that started me down the path of working with sister Maxine. And then that turned into Hey Jen since you know how to do the audio of things, would you edit our podcast? And, you know, six years ago podcasting was growing. It was out there, there was an awareness of it, but it's not like it is now. And I was like, okay, well, I've listened to a couple of Podcast. I have no idea what I'm doing, but yes, I will figure this out. I'm totally going to do this and saying yes to that opportunity, even though I really didn't know what it was going to look like completely changed my life.
Sean Sullivan (3m 49s):
What is the Podcast note or is it called sister as well?
Jen Edds (3m 53s):
No, that's a great question though. No, it's, it's called a nuns life ministry, and they talk about, you know, discernment and whats. It's like being a Catholic sister and it's fascinating.
Sean Sullivan (4m 6s):
So I grew up Catholic and yeah, I obviously know that there's a, there's the monastery and at a monastery, a nunnery and uhm, Tipton. And then you can actually, you can talk to them that they have the screen and everything of the separation, just because of the certain devotions in everything too. But I was thinking as a second grader, why are these Pete ladies behind here in the second thing? Why are they all above 70 years old? When I thought about this? And I'm like, Oh, there's like all of that. I was counting. There were only two young ones. So I mean, there's odd. I mean, there's things going on in the world with different things of becoming a nun or a priest or whatever. But as a little kid, just seeing that as a different world was interesting to me.
Sean Sullivan (4m 51s):
Yeah. That's awesome that literally, you said soul sucking cube, farm under fluorescent lights, but you love the job in the co-workers, but know you get it. Like it's, it's the environment. It's, it's not, it's, it's taking away your drive versus adding to it. And I love that you found that and you, and you talk to your wife about that too, just to kind of being like, where's the happiness coming because I, I just noticed in your Facebook posts and LinkedIn and that kind of stuff, that you are like one of the most positive people, I know that you share that positivity with others, with your wife, animals, family, friends. And so I just thought that was kind of cool that you have, you, you, you exude operate that.
Sean Sullivan (5m 32s):
And the best thing I just leading into the next question here is you did a little video about the ideal Podcast and Guests, but we'll get to that later is you S you engage people online so well, and then, so you're Welcome and so what does kind of the, the epicenter of podcasting Engagement, if you could kind of give any advice to people who are either starting a Podcast in that podcasting, but they're grinding it out and they're trying to get subscribers, you know, what are kind of some of the things that, that you've noticed that can help with that?
Jen Edds (6m 9s):
I think I look at podcasting as a conversation starter in a way to build community and particularly with the Beauty in the GI Podcast. So I co-host a podcast with my Brazilian jujitsu coach. And at the time we started, there were very few women that were podcasting about Brazilian jujitsu, shocking. I know, but we, we knew, we knew how much our local community met here. And, you know, we were on a mission to bring more women to the sports and build that community. And really, we started a Facebook group and it's really been a great way to go in and engage with people.
Jen Edds (6m 56s):
Like we get direct messages from people all around the world. Like I got a direct message on Instagram the other day, from a listener in Germany, they had a question. It was like, Oh, this is amazing just to connection. And it just makes the world feel smaller. And it might be something that has come up in a specific episode, or it might be just a general, Hey, I'm getting ready to compete for the first time. What should, what do I need to be thinking about, you know, just things like that, but it's really been cool to just feel like number one representation, because as I started getting into the sport, I went out and of course, looked for a podcast to learn more and really dive into it.
Jen Edds (7m 43s):
And I couldn't find the podcast that I wanted to listen too. So I was like, eventually we're going to make our own. It kind of started out as, as, as kind of a series within my own. Podcast the Brassy broadcasts. And I started it. I just called it my awkward Brazilian jujitsu journal, because I knew there was something coming from this experience and I want it to document it and I didn't know what it was going to be, but I thought, I feel absolutely ridiculous diving into the sport. And it basically looks like wrestling in a karate outfit. And I just knew that this was going to be something, I didn't know what it was going to be, but I did have the good sense to start documenting it and, and just letting it ride and see where it was going to go.
Jen Edds (8m 33s):
Sean Sullivan (8m 34s):
I love that wrestling in a karate outfit. Yeah. My coach calls it a combat yoga kind of feel the same way in the sense of I do CrossFit or we do more fitness stuff, but it's made for, for, for shorter people and I'm six, three. And so I feel like a string being lifted away and I'm like, Oh, like why they lifting faster than I am? Like, how am I, I feel awkward here, but I, I totally get you, like, you feel like, kind of out of your element in your element too, whereas kind of like, Oh, okay. Like I get that. And you kind of hinted on, you know, Building community and getting, and getting engagement for people all around the world, which is really cool.
Sean Sullivan (9m 17s):
And I think a lot of people kind of want to know, and, and the community is, you know, how do you build a podcasting audience? How do you build that engagement?
Jen Edds (9m 30s):
I think you kind of start that even before you ever launched your podcast and its, it takes effort it's depending on it, you got to know where your audience is hanging out. Are they on LinkedIn? Are they on Instagram? Are they on Facebook or are they on Twitter and go in and just start talking to people and having conversations before you launch your podcast or if the podcast is going to then go in there and ask them, like asked people, Hey, I've got an episode coming up, I'm going to interview this expert. What questions do you have? What do you want to know? I really think just asking if you ask people, they'll tell you what they want.
Jen Edds (10m 13s):
And then I also think another piece of that is particularly in Facebook groups. So like just going back to the Brazilian jujitsu example, I'm in a couple of different women's jujitsu groups on Facebook and there are a lot of questions that come up and things that we've already addressed in previous episodes. So if I can say easily, Hey, let me share this link with you. And we talk about it specifically and it's maybe just a starting point. It's a way to go in there and, and give people resources and try to help answer questions and really just, just show up and be helpful.
Jen Edds (10m 54s):
Sean Sullivan (10m 54s):
No, I think that's kind of been the big thing at I. You know what I've noticed too, and even with when you mentioned a community is how do you go into detail with it? And I, and I've just noticed a lot of people when they were like, Oh, I'm just going to start a podcast or on a whim. And you're like, I'm on 14 episodes in it. And then they just kind of stopped or, or they don't, they don't go any further with the actual episodes and kind of see it from the long haul that it's not a sprint it's the marathon and, you know, being helpful and just being your authentic view of being that driven of the intrinsic, not what the extrinsic stuff. And so I'm going to be a little change up all the questions here and, and know more, you know, about insights.
Sean Sullivan (11m 37s):
But I think the next part of it is it's not just the audience, but it's the Guest. And I know that you are how you get your head, you're going to be doing in events. And the link is going to be in the show notes and everything to me, but it's about being the ideal Podcast and it, you know, can you share with anybody on this, even in this episode, because for right now, I feel like you are one of the best guests I've had not, not to say like everybody else was bad, but I feel like it came into the sense of some, sometimes people don't know how to prep to be the ideal podcast guests. And I feel like even, I think hopefully after these notes I can share with future podcasts Guests then it just brings out more information and more resources and I think it helps the community even better.
Sean Sullivan (12m 26s):
So do you have any like insights of being that ideal podcast guests
Jen Edds (12m 30s):
Show up prepared? I encourage you. If you have time and your pitching, Podcast listen to it at first and make sure that you're even a right fit to be on this show. Like I've heard enough of yours. I knew that we're going to, we're going to have a great conversation and it's going to be helpful. And this is a podcast that I feel good about going on. And then part of that preparation I think is really knowing, like asking that host, what does their audience need and show up with that show up and serve?
Sean Sullivan (13m 11s):
I absolutely love that because it's a two way street. Like you, the coast is supposed to, to support the Guests to bring them to the audience. It's almost like the Guests is the band. And a host is the venue, whomever bringing in the, bring everybody in so the guests can see, but it's the resource is getting out of that. So moving off, no more grilling questions here. Jen offline background. If you want to share anything, you know, even if it's even an, a podcast episode, you know, I kind of say offline in a sense that it can be online, but people probably may not have noticed, but any pivots that you have noticed with clients yourself and how to embrace Community even further because I talk to a previous guest and they said this pandemic has brought the world even closer together because we are all facing the same thing together.
Sean Sullivan (14m 5s):
And it's like the first time this has happened more, more in our faces because of media and just different things that we're facing everything together. And so how can, I mean, it could be an insight about community. It can be anything, anything you want to talk about. I kind of leave the floor open up to you.
Jen Edds (14m 24s):
Okay. That is, wow. We're getting deep here at 8:00 AM on a Friday morning as we record this, I think some of the biggest pivots that I've seen this year have been finding joy in the simplest things. I can't tell you like my, so my wife as a total bird nerd, and now she's sucking me into it like, Oh, look, there's a tough to tit mouse out on the feeder or whatever it is. I think spending time in nature this year has really just, it's been good for my soul. And I know other people that if there's something just getting out in the trees and the woods and feeling the wind and were fortunate enough that we, we have a pontoon and we've got it over on Eagle Creek reservoir.
Jen Edds (15m 13s):
And that was really like, we've talked about it. Like, it didn't feel that weird with everything else going on in the world. 'cause that was our sanctuary. That's where we would want to be anyway is out in nature. So I think really just learning to find the joy in the simple things has, has been good for a lot of us and the slowing down.
Sean Sullivan (15m 40s):
Yes, I totally agree. And I think it's more, so what I've kind of noticed is not isolation from people, but solitude and how you feel comfortable being in your being in that solitude. I'm just going back to that night. I mean the nunnery things, I mean, they're in solitude and, and I think there'd be, I'm actually going to listen to that episode to see what kind of, you know, if there's a, there's an episode about that. But you know, being isolated from the community were still talking to me to you, but you're in solitude based upon your vow on different things too. And I think that that's a lot of value of like being behind walls for a good portion of your life in your life.
Sean Sullivan (16m 23s):
How do people like are people actually happy? And if you can find out like if they are, because of that, the connection between people, I think it's amazing that you kind of hinted on that, that it's, it's your own sanctuary. You know, it's a place where you can, you can reflect, you can recharge, you can, whatever you want it to be. That's what it is as your, you know, your epicenter of, of, of who you are and, and kind of kind of being, because I mean, you know, we are, I mean, we're w I mean, you do a great job of podcasting, but that's just a podcasting, is it, you write that's what you do.
Sean Sullivan (17m 4s):
And so when people kind of see that, it's kind of like, you know, who who's Jen. So I don't know how I led to this, but leading to the next part of the Episode it just kind of flowed here. It's more about, you know, not, you know, not about podcasts. I mean, I think of the house, but it's about you Jen, you know, you know, it's the woman behind the Broad that the Brassy Broadcasting and the Beauty and the game. So I got it right this time and Brazilian jujitsu. So I got that time. So I'm waking up a little bit more here and that tongue side. So when you get up in the morning and you kind of think about the work that you do, what's kind of the first thing that you've noticed that has come to mind.
Sean Sullivan (17m 44s):
Why do you do what you do?
Jen Edds (17m 47s):
Well, the very first thing that I do in the is, so I've got a morning routine and the first thing is I journal so that I can get all of the stuff that's in my head, out of my head before I meditate. And I actually started a daily meditation practice. It was kind of right before all of the shutdown and everything hit this spring. And I'm so grateful that I have had that because I'm at like 240 some days in a row of, I write a page in the journal and I meditate. And I feel like that has really grounded me. I mean, I've never experienced it outside of a world pandemic, but even just experience and then experiencing this with everything that has gone on and having to get more comfortable in solitude, you know, taking that 20 minutes every morning for the meditation piece has been really helpful for me.
Jen Edds (18m 48s):
And which completely took me off the rails of the question that you asked initially. But I think it was regarding my why it was for me. It's always about how can we all, it's interesting. I see a lot of stuff about, you know, Oh, you've got to find your voice. You've got to find your voice, your voice isn't lost. Usually we're the ones that are lost. Our voice is where it's always been. It just gets buried under all the junk that re re re read and criticism and all of this stuff. Our voice has always been there and we just it's our job to come back to it.
Jen Edds (19m 30s):
And a lot of the work that I do is just getting people out of their own way. So it might be clarifying what that vision, mission, and purpose is of their Podcast. But everyone that I work with, I'm so fortunate to have just the most incredible clients. They are so passionate about the message that they want to get out into the world. And it might just be simplifying the technology piece for them or helping them hone that and craft that message a little bit, but like my clients are on fire. Like they feel me up, I would never get bored, editing their shows because they're having these incredible conversations with people around the world and they are doing good work.
Sean Sullivan (20m 18s):
I absolutely love that. Yeah. I think it went from, and you eloquently described everything of like what you've gone on in the past of just the, you know, the cubicle, the cubicle jungle, I would say on my end to literally simplifying the tech and then holding the message for clients and for them to, to, to charge you up their fire, feed your fire. And I think that's really, really awesome. So, you know, you know, your morning ritual routine and that kind of stuff, what do you, I know you're a musician. So, you know, once you got out of your Hobie, you know, if it, me being a musician, like how did this or that kind of play into effect of kind of giving it a different perspective, different angle recharge, whatever that goes back into your work.
Jen Edds (21m 4s):
It's funny because over the past few months, as I've gotten back into putting the Brassy broadcast out more regularly and thinking about how can I engage and how can I promote these episodes? I started writing jingles for specific Episode because when I show up with a ukulele in somebody's LinkedIn feed, if they're going to pay attention at least for a minute, just to see what's going on rather than, and I love audiograms and things like that. And some, some things that are traditionally done in promoting the podcast episode, but it feeds me too, grab a ukulele or a guitar and right.
Jen Edds (21m 48s):
A little 32nd jingle to really highlight what the conversation was in the episode. And hopefully then that creates enough Engagement on the post that people are like, Oh yeah, I need to, I need to make sure I go back and listen to this episode, because if you think about behavior as we're scrolling on LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever it is, nobody's gonna stop and listen to the episode right then. But what I have found as a listener that I will do is I might grab my phone, or I might go to my podcast app and go download that episode so that it's in the queue.
Jen Edds (22m 28s):
You know, when I go walk the dog. So it's there waiting, it's waiting for me, but I'm never going to stop as I'm scrolling, but this gets enough attention and starts enough conversation. And it's fun for me like this. This is how I need to show up in the world is being silly and entertaining. And, you know, being a little bright spot on somebody's feed rather than being a glue.
Sean Sullivan (22m 52s):
I've seen that ukulele in LinkedIn. And I looked at it, it's kind of like, I can describe it like this. Like everybody there has always been in that debate of when should you hang your Christmas tree up or your Christmas decorations? Or is it before or after Thanksgiving? For me, you know, being raised, it was always after Thanksgiving because it was just like giving tribute to Thanksgiving. But the more that, you know, I've seen people they've been hanging things up early just because of this year. And I look at it and I'm like, Oh, that's kind of cool. Like I just to get a bright spot, like I get a feeling it's not a judgment. It's just like, I get a warm feeling. So when I saw that your ukulele posts and, and the LinkedIn, it was something different.
Sean Sullivan (23m 34s):
And I'm like, Oh, like, I want to listen to this. Yeah. It was just kind of, what do you expect on LinkedIn? No outside the norm that has you. And I feel like a lot of stay with, it's like a society thing. They stay with it and what the platform should do rather than allowing you to showcase yourself and a platform.
Jen Edds (23m 56s):
All right. And it has been a struggle for me to figure out, like, as I've grown within my business, you know, there's the, you should do this. This is how you should show up. And I just, I struggled with it. I felt like there were two very conflicting pieces to me. There was the, I mean, basically it felt like a mullet, you know, the business and the front and the party in the back. And I think I finally gotten comfortable enough and bringing that musicians and that creative piece into my podcasting work. That's why people hire me. I mean, the information is the information and you can go out and get it from just about anyone anywhere.
Jen Edds (24m 39s):
It might not be the right information, but it's available. But I think so much of it is in how, like, what is that unique lens and experience that we bring to our work. And I bring, I bring it from a very, you know, musician entertainment, storytelling, engaging perspective, because I've had to stand on stages and entertain people and engage with them and tell stories between songs and try to keep people's attention. You know, the best you can at a bar where they just want to hear Freebird. Yes.
Sean Sullivan (25m 13s):
I love it. So you kind of mentioned Brazilian jujitsu. I think we kind of mentioned that a few times in the episode episode here, I feel like that that could be your health. It could be something else that you want to talk about with meditation, but this is kind of the open the floor of, you know, what has helped you the most to be consistently good at you're hurt like your career in what you do and seeing it as like, I'm not going to sprint to the end and then just like burnout, like I'm seeing this as I'm a, I'm a runner. I'm, you know, I'm pacing this out. I know, I know where, you know, I know where, or how to work within what I'm doing, but I also know how to push myself. And so, you know, w what, you know, if you want to enlighten, you know, the Podcast community, because I've noticed some listeners have gotten back to me about, you know, Oh, I didn't know, like there's a different perspective.
Sean Sullivan (26m 1s):
And sometimes I've heard, you know, Guests they say, you know, even the smallest things that are like, I don't know if that significant and unlike it may not be significant to you, but it can be significant to somebody else who hasn't had that experience. So if you want to, the floor is yours on the health side to it.
Jen Edds (26m 18s):
All right. On the health side, I would, I would go back to Brazilian jujitsu and where I feel like that has impacted me in my business is that it has pushed me so far beyond my comfort zone. Yeah. It's, it's, it's really even hard to find the words about how far out that has pushed me. It is also forced me to be less critical and judgment of myself, because I have learned to use my body in ways that I didn't even know were possible. And, you know, with jujitsu, you are actually encouraged to be heavy on someone.
Jen Edds (26m 59s):
If someone says, Oh my God, you were so heavy. That's a compliment. I don't know where any woman can go anyplace else in the world and here your heavy. And that's a compliment. And it's really gotten me okay, with the fact that I'm going to suck at this, but I love it. And I'm going to keep showing up and, and keep trying to get better. And with jujitsu, you know, as you progress and go to different belt levels and things, it is such an individual journey, and you cannot compare yourself to the other people on the mat. And it's really helped me in life and in business too.
Jen Edds (27m 43s):
Remember that this is my journey, and I can't compare myself to everyone else out there.
Sean Sullivan (27m 50s):
I absolutely love that. I've been kind of reflecting upon that in the last few weeks to have my own journey, as well as I'm being kind to yourself. I think that it was more so Ethan Today is, we are a lot, I mean, a lot of us are very critical on ourselves way too much, and we don't, and sometimes we don't realize it, it just giving us the grace it's okay to fail. It's okay to learn something because you're, you're were constantly learning. We're human beings. We're not human automations or algorithms. And that's just kind of the big thing. So, you know, kind of wrapping up Jen thanks for talking about, you know, podcasting, I always learned a little tidbits from you were there, they were small, you know, insights, but they make huge impacts.
Sean Sullivan (28m 41s):
And, and, and that's, that's the value that you're bringing is it's kind of like that small little note that makes a huge impact. That's kind of like a, with Neil diamond where he, when he writes, you know, sweet Caroline and how many people, you know, sing that at bars and places, and, and really feel that emotion with it that he was like, Oh, I just wrote that on the whim. Like, that's kind of what it was. And, you know, talking about, you know, you have different podcasts things with, you know, the, the, the, the Brassy, Broadcasting, Company, you know, to be at the Beauty in the gay and about yourself, you know, just kind of, you know, talking about your, your, your life and you know, why, why do you do what you do, your hobbies, your health, your wife, your sanctuary, like your wife's at Bernerd and how you're helping other, how are you helping others and, and bring their, their vision and, and, and meeting that and with, you know, the audience and the right audience.
Sean Sullivan (29m 39s):
So thank you so much for being on this episode.
Jen Edds (29m 42s):
My pleasure, thanks for inviting me on
Sean Sullivan (29m 45s):
And to all of the Converge coffee drinkers out there. That's a wrap.