Podcasting has always been a collaborative medium. Interview shows, audio dramas, and documentaries put multiple voices in front of the microphone, creative individuals sparking off each other to make something greater than the sum of its parts. But as RJJ Software’s work with Steve Worthy shows, collaboration behind the scenes is equally important.
Podcasts to Lift Others Up
Steve Worthy was primed to be a podcaster before podcasting even existed.
“My love for podcasting was born from my love of radio,” the podcaster and executive coach explains. “I did radio while in college and a little while living in New York. But in 2007, I was introduced to podcasting and fell in love with the medium.”
Steve has been podcasting ever since and has made his mark with industry leading shows targeted at people like himself—entrepreneurs and audio enthusiasts.
Retail Leadership with Steve Worthy is the first podcast dedicated to helping retail leaders develop their careers. By tackling topics such as improving communication and enhancing workplace culture, it helps listeners to achieve their professional goals.
Podcasters Live fills a similar niche in the podcasting sphere. Offering advice to those starting out in audio, it supports a global community of creators in building their platforms through the powerful combination of podcasting and live streaming. The show’s weekly livestreams with podcasters and industry experts let new and established podcasters engage with their audience while teaching them techniques to produce a great live stream. By learning from the show, podcasters can grow their audience, enhance their engagement, and build a sustainable live stream show.
I did radio while in college and a little while living in New York. But in 2007, I was introduced to podcasting and fell in love with the medium.
Steve founded both podcasts not only for his own enjoyment but as a way to increase the diversity and inclusivity in the podcasting space. Supporting others on their paths to success has been the hallmark of his career, but sometimes he needs support of his own.
Professional Podcast Production
Podcasting takes a lot of work. Creating the show itself involves a wide range of tasks and skills, including sound design, engineering, and editing. Then there are the ancillary activities, such as writing up the show notes and marketing the podcast to listeners. As a veteran entrepreneur, Steve’s first instinct was to do it all himself.
“Over time, trying to wear so many hats became exhausting,” Steve explains. “Thankfully, I had a group of amazing podcasting peers who struggled with the same mindset. Slowly but surely, I became convinced I needed help with the editing and sound production.”
Because he was plugged into that network of podcasters, Steve was quickly able to find support in the form of RJJ Software. Founded by brothers Jamie and Mark Taylor, RJJ provides software-related services, including development, consultancy, and mentoring, as well as audio and podcast editing services. Among other audio work, the company produces the .NET Core and Waffling Taylors podcasts, and edits Tabs and Spaces.
Slowly but surely, I became convinced I needed help with the editing and sound production.
RJJ was a natural choice for Steve because of the company’s proven skills in the podcast sphere. Jamie was present when the idea for Podcasters Live was born, while he, Steve, and Suzy Buttress were hosting podcaster roundtables on Zoom. This led to RJJ helping with the early days of Podcasters Live.
But while Jamie provided the connection, it’s Mark Taylor, RJJ’s Chief Audio Editor and Engineer, who has been critical to supporting Steve’s project, not just through his technical skills, but through how he approaches the work.
Technical Skills and a Collaborative Approach
As the producer and editor of Steve’s podcasts, Mark uses Adobe Audition to turn raw audio into the smooth content that listeners expect. A sophisticated but sometimes complicated tool, Audition lets Mark produce professional quality episodes week after week. After producing many episodes for Steve, Mark is now well settled into the role, but the most interesting challenges for him lay at the start.
“The initial set up, what piece of music goes where, what music to use and the kind of flow Steve wanted was the biggest hurdle,” Mark explains. “Lots of messages back and forth, a few meetings here and there, but after the template was locked down we were in business.”
Mark could have been taking a lesson from Steve’s own teachings on communication, as he places communication skills at the core of his approach, and with it RJJ’s success.
“Honesty is the best policy,” Mark says, when asked about working with Steve. “Asking lots of questions to understand what he needed was the best way. After I had a good understanding of what was needed and completed a few audio’s for him, Steve trusted my work enough to get my feedback, what kinds of effects I could use and possible added sound clips.”
Technical skills are vital to producing a good podcast, and Mark has plenty of those, thanks to his years of experience in audio engineering. But his ability to relate to clients and to manage their work is equally important. By listening to Steve, understanding the podcast’s needs, and clearly explaining his process, Mark has fostered a relationship where Steve can leave him to get the job done, trusting in the quality of the results. As Mark says, “it gives me a little boost knowing that trust is there.”
That trust has let Steve work closely with Mark and RJJ, despite living and working on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Their collaborative and timely approach goes well beyond the basics of audio production. With feedback flying both ways, Mark has improved the episode structure and sound quality of Steve’s work, increasing its appeal. Having produced over a thousand podcast episodes, RJJ have the experience to ensure that Steve can keep up a regular stream of high quality content and build a solid relationship with his audience.
Of course, it helps to have a client with audio experience, who understands what makes a great podcast.
“I haven’t had any problems with Steve’s audio… ever,” Mark says. “It’s as close to flawless as I’ve ever worked with. If he wanted to, he could narrate an audiobook or two.”
Making Great Content
Tempted as he might be by a trip to Audible, Steve is well settled in the podcasting sphere. His collaboration with RJJ has given him a chance to focus his input where he can make the biggest difference. “Now I can stay in my lane, which is recording great content.”
As Steve’s podcasts show, even experienced podcasters can benefit from bringing in external expertise. Whether it’s for specialist technical skills, to reduce an overload of tasks, or simply to free up time for content creation, the right audio team can provide huge benefits. With their skills, experience, and collaborative approach, RJJ are that team for Steve.