This series is all about Libsyn’s podcasters. It’s sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Rich from the Armchair Ninja Podcast
When did you start podcasting?
I (Rich) started the podcast in August 2015 with no background in broadcasting, no online presence, no specialized knowledge of the subject matter, and having only started LISTENING to podcasts a few months prior.
Bijan stumbled across this fumbling podcast in its infancy and, sensing the struggle ahead for this foolish soul, offered to assist. He joined me starting in episode 9.
Why did you start podcasting?
I attended a screening of the movie Tusk in March 2015, which was followed by a Q&A with director Kevin Smith.
During the Q&A, Kevin advised every single person in the auditorium to start their own podcast. He said it with absolute conviction and explained what podcasts were, and how amazing they are, at some length.
This led me to try downloading a few podcasts, which eventually won me over as a medium. But his assertion that EVERYONE should have a podcast was still sticking with me as well.
Eventually I decided to give it a try, thinking I could record for 30 minutes or so a week, and maybe someone would listen.
I’m still amazed and thrilled that people do.
What’s your show about?
They say you should start a business/app/podcast to fill a need that YOU have. And the one podcast topic that I couldn’t seem to find anything on, was television show American Ninja Warrior (ANW), and so The Armchair Ninja Podcast was born.
It was also a topic that I was very passionate about, but didn’t have anyone to talk to about it in real life, so it made sense.
We made the fateful decision to continue recording each week, even in the off-season, since it would help us to improve our own podcasting skills.
We weren’t sure what we were going to talk about at first, but soon discovered a whole new world of “ninja” gyms, competitions, and online personas.
Luck would have it that Esquire network premiered a new show called Team Ninja Warrior in this timeframe as well, featuring the athletes of ANW, which we covered in detail.
We also decided to branch out to cover a show called Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. It is from the same producers, has some of the same athletes, and is also about obstacle racing, so it works.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
I record using Audacity on a clunky Windows computer with a USB connected Samson Q2U.
Bijan records using Garageband on a Macbook Air with a USB connected Samson Q2U.
Guess whose computer failed them last month and had to go in for repairs? Not mine, boo-ya.
I also use Pamela for Skype to record the call, just in case, and also for any guests that we have on the show.
How have you promoted your podcast?
I hope you’ll excuse the point-form. It seemed the easiest way to cover it all.
- Interviewed several stars of the show, including the host Matt Iseman
- Created an online shop for merchandise and gifted shirts to multiple family members at Xmas
- Created business cards and hand them out when possible so the person will remember us later
- Attended a regional obstacle competition and networked with athletes and gym owners
- Mailed 50 small posters out to gyms across America along with introduction letter
- Started a Fan of the Week to recognize and encourage social media interaction from listeners
- Started a Video of the Week to engage ninja athletes on social media
- Created commercials for our show, which have been featured on several other podcasts
- Created an introduction video for YouTube for those that are intimidated by podcasting
- Attended a taping of American Ninja Warrior in both Los Angeles (Bijan) and Philadelphia (Rich), talking to the fans and athletes in person
- Sent our story to the local newspaper (Telegraph Journal) and were featured
- Appeared as a guest on the podcast Profitcast
- Created a “10 Most Powerful Moments in American Ninja Warrior History” for website Thrillist
- Offered to send a personalized postcard to any listener who posted a picture of where they listen to our podcast
- Brought top stars of the show on as co-hosts for an episode, with listener submitted questions throughout
- Setup a table at the farmer’s market to engage fans in person and build local interest
- Created an online “What type of American Ninja Warrior are you?” personality quiz on Playbuzz
- Created animated shorts for YouTube of some favorite podcast moments
- Ran Facebook ads to boost awareness with American Ninja Warrior fans
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Our recorded audio says that we wish we knew it was so time-consuming, but I think it’s good that we didn’t know that. Better not to frighten us away from something that has enriched both of our lives so much.
I feel I was very good at narrowing down our audience’s PHYSICAL location, but not their online presence. Make sure you are looking carefully at both, because it all depends on who your target audience is.
Who are the American Ninja Warrior fans!!?? Have you listened to the Armchair Ninja Podcast? You really must! And, BONUS, subscribe!.
If you’ve been wanting to follow Kevin Smith’s advice and start a podcast, what are you waiting for? We’d love to host your podcast!