In this Friday special, Adam and Carlton discuss how they and their team at HEARD Media produce content out of each episode of this podcast. No philosophy here! Only the nitty-gritty details of our content production process. If you want to multiply your numbers like we have, here’s how to produce more volume.
Highlights from the conversation:
The tools we use:
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Transcription generated by Otter.ai
Adam Vazquez 0:00
As we started this podcast Content Is for Closers, the first episode, we talked about how we use a specific content creation system to develop $1.4 million in pipeline. Well, that was before, we were using what we’re about to describe to you and produced the last 100 episodes. So that number has only multiplied in terms of the at bats that we are getting as a business. And so this content production system that necessarily helps you produce more volume has worked for us.
Carlton Riffel 0:38
That’s all in spite of a couple of things. One is me being a co-host to Adam.
Adam Vazquez 0:45
That’s why we get the millions of dollars.
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.
Adam Vazquez 1:13
All right. All right. All right. We are back for another episode of Content Is for Closers. It’s your boy Adam here with the Sultan of systems, the commander of ClickUp himself. Welcome back to the show, Carlton Riffel.
Carlton Riffel 1:25
Hey, thank you. Appreciate it that from the Noble of Notion.
Adam Vazquez 1:29
Oh! A title swap. I like that noble notion. Man, that’s high praise.
Carlton Riffel 1:36
I’ll stick with one. I couldn’t think of two.
Adam Vazquez 1:40
Alliteration is the best straight-up stealing from Jcow on All-In. But he does a good job of that, Carlton. Today we’re going to talk about how we produce, in my opinion, a decent a healthy amount of content out of each episode of this podcast. Currently, we’re producing right about 16 assets out of each episode, we definitely have some room for growth. But just to give you as the listener kind of a little bit of context, this has really worked for us in the last year, we have produced somewhere around 100 episodes, I need to go back and count this, maybe this is the hundreds I’m not even sure we should probably be celebrating that. But and along that road along that journey, we have seen a 10x increase in YouTube engagement. We have seen, I don’t even know the exact multiple, but we’ve seen a huge amount of growth in our podcast audience. And most importantly, for us, we have generated a very healthy amount of pipeline when we started this podcast Content Is for Closers. The first episode, we talked about how we use a specific content creation system to develop $1.4 million in pipeline. Well, that was before we were using what we’re about to describe to you and produced the last 100 episodes. So that number has only multiplied in terms of the at bats that we are getting as a business. And so this content production system that necessarily helps you produce more volume has worked for us.
Carlton Riffel 3:14
That’s all in spite of a couple of things. One is me being a co-host to Adam.
Adam Vazquez 3:21
That’s why we get the millions of dollars, though.
Carlton Riffel 3:24
The second thing is we really have kind of been using ourselves as guinea pigs, right? Like, yeah, we’re, we do this for other people. But we’re somewhat limited because of certain time constraints or different things. And we’re trying to find ways to speed this up to make it a value add so that we’re not spending all of our times doing everything manually. So we’ve figured out some ways to automate some things, we figured out some ways to streamline and really make it so that this isn’t an impossible task. While we’re working on a bunch of other clients.
Adam Vazquez 3:56
Yeah. And in addition to that, to your point, at first, we’re also just willing to take risks with this show that we probably wouldn’t prescribe elsewhere because we want to find out if things work if things are worth investing in, if our clients should try, et cetera. So that’s a good point. What we’ve done has probably not been the most efficient way. But I would say this, what we’re about to describe this content creation process is absolutely efficient, and has been very, very useful for us. So lay the foundation initially, what’s our setup? How are we building a system so that we can even begin to talk about making 16 pieces of content out of every episode?
Carlton Riffel 4:36
Yeah, last episode, we got really philosophical. So we’re gonna take the opposite approach this time, and we’re just gonna get nitty gritty into the weeds with our technical details.
Adam Vazquez 4:47
Wait, but before you stop listening. Don’t worry, I’m here so we’re not gonna get I won’t want to get too technical. I will say some funny things along the way.
Carlton Riffel 4:54
Yeah, Adam will keep it entertaining. So yeah, we basically start everything with We kind of have these pillars of our systems. And so a big pillar is ClickUp. Another big pillar is Google Drive. And then obviously, we’re using Riverside to record. And so for those some clients that are remote, we use Riverside as our primary tool for that. But then some clients actually record on nice cameras and things. So we basically use all that together. And we use make, which was previously called Integra mat to kind of automate some of the steps in between it. But really, it starts with a content document that is, is kind of like the foundation of where a lot of things are stored. And we use Google Docs for that because it can be easily shared with our clients, we can kind of collaborate in there. But all of that goes pretty seamlessly back and forth between ClickUp. And so what we ended up doing is kind of saying, kind of getting our preliminary notes in there and saying, if this is gonna be a question, or if this is something, we’re going to ask somebody, or if it’s maybe our own, our own thoughts, or own ideas for like this episode, we write in there, kind of your main outline your main points that we want to hit. And that really is like kind of kicks off the project and gets it on the board so that we’re kind of all aware, and we’re all collaborating together.
Really, once we do that, then we’ve got to actually create some of the content, so either for an doing an interview episode, and we’ll have the interview, we’ll get it scheduled, get it, get some of the content from that in the folder. And then we’ll kind of follow up with this intro so that we can provide some context, provide some commentary, hopefully add some value. And they’re really once we have those assets in there, then we unleash the team to start doing their work.
Adam Vazquez 6:37
Yeah, so the only other thing I would I’d love to tap on is the actual file structure. I think that is helpful and unique. You mentioned we use ClickUp and Drive. ClickUp is sort of the project management software that tells everybody what to do and then they go into Drive to actually do that work. Within Drive, what’s the file management system that we use to help work all this?
Carlton Riffel 7:01
We have it set up so that when somebody basically when you create a new project and ClickUp, automatically creates the folder in Google Drive, and then links it. And so when you click away into that folder, and into that document, you can pretty quickly begin to start adding or working on the assets. But specifically, that’s like the main folder for the episode. And then within that we have a final folder. So our team will kind of be orchestrating all those assets that are in the main folder, that aren’t really polished yet, just kind of the raw things. And then within that final folder, once we’ve finished something that’s complete, completed and done, we’ve put it so it’s kind of obvious, it’s kind of seems basic. But having that delineation allows you to have one that you can share with your team internally, and then one that we can share with the client so that they get only the final assets.
Adam Vazquez 7:46
Yeah, and I would just say that that does seem pretty simple, but we didn’t always do it that way. But that has really made it simple. And I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from guests, even on how much they like having that file folder setup, or that final folder setup, I should say, because when you’re done, you can say hey, here’s the full episode. And here are all of the final assets that are ready for you to share if you want to or to use if you want to, it just makes it really, really easy for your guests.
Okay, so that’s kind of our setup, that’s our structure. And then I would say we’ve got really two buckets of content, then that comes out of the creation process. We have a bunch of assets that are directly pulled from the episode itself. And then we have some indirect assets that are created as a result of it.
So let’s start with the direct assets. I’ll just run through them so that you get a sense of volume. We have an annotated intro, we’ll talk about that in a second. The video and the audio edited a transcription, a summary, time-stamped shownotes some quotes that are generally pulled out some audio grams, and then there are some shorts. The last three of those quotes, audiograms, and shorts are the most time-intensive in terms of creating. But let’s start back at the top, annotated intro.
Carlton Riffel 9:05
And we got the transcription. Forgot that one.
Adam Vazquez 9:08
Oh, I didn’t read them there. And transcription. I think I did, but maybe I didn’t. Annotated intro. So Carlton, talk through that process, you and I jump on, you just listen to the raw initially right. And then we go on there and do the recording.
Carlton Riffel 9:21
And we basically provide some commentary. And really the benefit of that is you’re kind of digesting it and working through some of those ideas before the writer even gets to so we have a writer that will come through and create those show notes and create the summary. But what it allows us to do is to kind of start picking out the valuable pieces of content. And so I know for you, Adam like you were the one that were originally doing a lot of these things and you can listen to an episode and kind of have the hat on of like I’m just taking notes, but it’s kind of a different lens that you’re thinking about it when you’re correcting a transcript or when you’re making some of the changes for what will be like a quote card or maybe an audiogram. Like those are kind of different hats. So what we do is we just basically put it on one document so that people can reference and use each other’s notes to build on the content itself.
Adam Vazquez 10:13
That’s in the content document. Before that even we do we, once the intro is done, and the video and audio have been edited, we upload it to Otter. Is that right?
Carlton Riffel 10:26
Yeah, so Otter, we’ve tested a ton of different programs and Otter gives us the cleanest transcription. So once Jonny’s done editing and does a great job with that, he just throws it in Otter and then basically takes that transcription and we put it in the Google Doc.
Adam Vazquez 10:43
And that kind of becomes the seed for the rest of the content that we produce that transcription. So a lot of people ask, is the transcription worth doing? Is it really going to boost your SEO? Above all these types of questions? The answers to some of those things are probably no, like, I don’t know that there’s hard data evidence you would probably know about transcription, necessarily helping your SEO, I don’t think that’s the case, is it?
Carlton Riffel 11:05
Yeah, it’s still like one of those argued things. But yeah, really, what it really comes down to is, if it’s helping people digest your content. And if you’re getting more clicks, because of it. Google kind of knows that. So if certain things are getting mentioned over and over again, it actually can weaken your site because it makes those keywords less valuable or less clickable. So it all kind of depends on how people interact with your site. But generally speaking, if you can put it on there, and if you can provide kind of an easy way for people to interact with it, then it can help. But it’s not going to be like a silver bullet for your SEO.
Adam Vazquez 11:45
Right, which I think is what people initially thought when it came to podcasting. That being said, it is extremely helpful as a part of the creative process because it provides that seed for the rest of the work that goes on. And eventually, if you upload the video, that you can use that as the starting point for your captioning, which is extremely useful and helpful on YouTube.
Carlton Riffel 12:07
And I will say, kind of real quick to kind of caveat that the things that will help your SEO is going to be a great summary, that helps the person digest what the episode is actually about hits on those keywords in a more exact and like intentional way. And then the show notes that include links to other places, that’s what’s going to help your SEO, your on page SEO more than just having the entire transcription as an overwhelming amount of text from the on page.
Adam Vazquez 12:39
That’s a great point. So to this point, we have developed an intro, we have the video and the audio edited, we have a transcript uploaded, we’ve written a summary. And we’ve done just to what you just said, some links, show notes. One other thing before we get into quotes and audiograms, I would say is that if you have an interview-based show, I would highly recommend you consider using the intro format that we use on this show, mainly for two reasons. One is, I think that it allows you to inject some of your own personality and opinions into your show, which will help your audience hook more into or build a relationship with you as the hosts as opposed to always try to build a relationship with the guests each week. They’re coming because they want to listen to you. So if they never hear from you, or never hear your actual opinions, it’s difficult for them to develop that relationship. The second thing is that it that piece typically ends up being something that you can pull other assets from, whether it be just a joke that comes up a story that happens, it could be a number of things, but over time that provides a lot of at bats for ancillary content. So yeah, that’s all of the kind of upfront initial stuff that happens. Once we’ve done all of that intro video and audio edited transcript summary and shownotes. Now we go into the more heavy lift of creative I would say, and that comes with the quote cards, audiograms, and shorts.
Carlton Riffel 14:07
Yeah, so if you’ve got kind of that base content there, then the video editor or the audio editor that’s going to work on this, like small episode, or assets can take that what we usually do is like a cover of some sort. And that cover is kind of repeated in a few different ways. So you can kind of use that the title of the episode, that’s kind of a preliminary piece of it. The actual guests name, like who came on the show, and then their title. Those three pieces can kind of be reformatted in different ways and put with different combinations to get give you some of those assets. So you think about having like a YouTube thumbnail or you think about having like a custom episode or artwork for your episode. Like it’s essentially the same content. It’s just reformatted. It’s slightly different. So when somebody goes to create these quote cards, they’re kind of using In that same design using the same title, the same just the same, I guess it would be like their job description or whatever title that person has. So we basically have that document where they go in there and edit it. Yeah, swap out the quote cards, and then export just like a blank version that we can lay text in and like, waveform on top of. So essentially, you’re, you’re kind of expediting that by having all the pieces in one place where the title, the person’s name, and then their description, their job description is all updated at once.
Adam Vazquez 15:36
Are there any tools that are particularly helpful and in using that that you’d recommend in building that?
Carlton Riffel 15:41
Yeah, so we use Canva mainly just because it’s— Some people are like, “Canva? I thought you guys were a professional agency.” Well, Canva is actually pretty powerful. Now, they’ve made some incredible updates in last few years. But it’s really just the collaborative nature of it. The fact that like, some of these assets, we even design outside of Canva, and then just use as backgrounds. And so that we can kind of have things, they’re ready for even our copywriter to go in there and just make changes to it super easy, super fast, super accessible. And then really from there, the script has kind of become our go-to for the audiograms, because they do a great job with like giving you some of the customized like you can customize a lot of the video assets now. Whereas like headliner that used to be one that we use for everything for the audiograms, but the script really allows you to work with video and audio, clean up some of those mistakes in there and then quickly use the transcript itself to generate the time, the subtitles, or any captions that we have.
Adam Vazquez 16:47
That’s great. And the only other thing I would add is that the advent of shorts, or reels, or it could be TikTok, whatever it is, that is kind of your vertical video of choice, I think has been a boon for podcasters. And I’m interested to see how more podcasters and abusing this. Because whatever it is, from your episode that would normally be some highlight whether it’s a story, or it’s a process, or something that you think is just worth visualizing in some way, taking that asset and turning it into a short turning into a real maybe put maybe videos visualizing it with the audio of the podcast over it will absolutely increase your podcasts visibility on other platforms. I’ll just give you one example that is not from our show, but it’s still applicable, we have a show called the Oakley trucking podcast. And they typically their shows typically get about four or 5,000 views on YouTube each episode. And they have begun doing just a couple of shorts, they might do one a week or one even every other week. And those shorts are averaging five to 10,000 views per short. So it’s just really interesting to see how taking it’s the same content, it’s pulled from the longer episode, but taking the longer piece, boiling it down into a highlight and putting that on the short platform. And listen, YouTube is giving views away for that medium TikTok. Obviously, his Instagram is doing the same. So just taking advantage of that knowledge is a great way to get some acquisition for your show, or at least right now.
Carlton Riffel 18:31
Yeah, and I think kind of like what all we’ve mentioned is like table stakes, right? Like this is kind of the minimum of what you want to do when you create an episode. Because the one drawback with podcasting that pretty much everyone in the industry knows is just discoverability, it’s hard to discover shows without a personal recommendation or without running across it somewhere else. So the more you can put your content out there in different ways, different formats, different platforms, then the likelihood of you being found is higher.
Adam Vazquez 19:01
That’s right. So all of that was the direct assets, the assets that are derived directly from the content of the podcast. Now let’s flip to indirect. So once we have a show that is complete, assets have been developed, etc. I’ll take the topic, whatever it was, and over the course of the week, write a long-form blog post for our website based on that topic. And a lot of times it’s going to be something it’s not gonna be an extremely long post. But it just either takes a single idea that we discussed on the episode or kind of recap recaptures the idea in a slightly different way, and expounds on it in order to have that now, I would argue again, to your SEO transcription, even that is a better use in terms of trying to build SEO over the long haul than just a pure transcription because I think it’s, you’re actually doing something value additive. So that’s one thing. I’ll then make a topical short so oh, if we’re you can look at our YouTube to get examples of this. But if we’re talking about how to block, like we talked a couple of weeks ago about how to be creative block, we’re talking about the War of Art. I then went and recorded a unique video on the same topic using the same points but created specifically for YouTube shorts. And I posted that on YouTube as well, Jim, our video editor, produced it made it look great. Put a bunch of visuals on top of it. And then we published that. So that was another one. And the last one—
Carlton Riffel 20:31
Just to interject in there. Why don’t we just use a clip of you talking right there? Why, why do you think that’s different? And why do we record a separate video?
Adam Vazquez 20:42
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think this goes to the idea of repurposing in general, people have this a little bit of a wrong picture, because of Gary Vee, put out a deck a couple years ago that talked about how you can make 100 pieces of content from each asset. And what he wasn’t saying wasn’t just clip and paint, publish, he was saying REPURPOSE. So if you make something, make it so that it works for every platform, and make another piece that takes those platform intricacies into play. So the reason to answer your question is, for sure, it’s, it has to be 60 seconds. It’s difficult with all the verbal clutter, and I’m very verbose. As you can tell, it’s difficult to get me to say something in 60 seconds unless it’s intentional. And so actually recording specifically for a short lets us do that better without it cutting off every word because we’re cutting it so much. And also allows us to put better visuals on top as well.
Carlton Riffel 21:41
Yeah, and you can have higher energy, you can approach it in a little bit more of like a, like a fresh, energetic way that if you just started doing that in the middle of a podcast.
Adam Vazquez 21:53
“He’s having a seizure.” If you just watch our shorts, my eyes are really big. I’m talking with a lot of energy, it would be weird to start doing that mid conversations. Good point. So and then the last piece of indirect content are the tweets and the LinkedIn posts. And so those kind of go hand in hand. But typically, just process-wise, I’ll write a series of tweets, based on the episode. For me our episodes, Carlton, my episodes come out on Friday. So I will write those on Friday for the next week. And then based on which tweets work are getting engagement, I will use that as a signaling function and rewrite those for LinkedIn, that typically happens on Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. So there’s a little bit of a process to it. But to this point, let me just run through it. These are all of— And see, this will be a piece we make for a short. Here’s how we create 16 assets or more from every single podcast: We have an annotated intro, we have a video and an audio episode, we have a transcription, we have a summary of the show, we have time-stamped shownotes we have two quotes, we’re up to eight, we have two audio grams, two shorts, that takes us 12, a long-form blog post, topical shorts, and tweets and LinkedIn posts for a total of 16. So you see—
Carlton Riffel 23:09
That was impressive, Adam.
Adam Vazquez 23:11
Bank. 16. But Carlton, really that’s sort of the table stakes, I would say as to where we are, there’s a lot of other things we could be doing and probably should be doing. What are some of those things in your mind?
Carlton Riffel 23:23
Yeah, this is where you can get fun and like, start to mess around. If you have a great episode, Adam just starts listing things, and they’re like, Wow, that was so amazing. Let’s just do more with it, you can start to create memes of some sort, you can go and research, what are some ways that we can make that into an infographic? Or that we can maybe take that and make it into something that’s a little bit more controversial? Or have a different take on it, where we’re posing a question maybe and, and kind of soliciting some audience feedback? I mean, those are just a couple off the top of my head. What were some thoughts that you have on that?
Adam Vazquez 23:58
Yeah, I think other ones are like, these are more obvious, probably, but like paid ads, something that I think we could do pretty well, pretty effectively. And when you’re talking about paid ads, it doesn’t have to be for your show. It could be for your actual business if you’re discussing topics that are relevant to it. I think also the idea of a live event or webinar is something that could easily come out based on what you’re discussing on the show, but I wanted to ask you about the memes. That’s something that I think it’s hard it a lot of people want to do it. I think it can be difficult to do well unless you have a really engaged audience because then they know what you’re referring to. There’s like a different language that they’re speaking but have you seen that done well, specifically, I have some examples in my head but I was just curious if you’ve anybody that you’ve seen done it well.
Carlton Riffel 24:51
Yeah, there are several meme accounts on Instagram itself that do a great job within like the graphic designer community. I’m not going to get their handles right, so I’m not going to dry. But they’re just basically taking insider knowledge and making some sort of surprise connection. And so that’s really where memes thrive: inside jokes essentially, the way they— Go ahead.
Adam Vazquez 25:17
Well, I just think you can borrow some of those jokes, assuming that you don’t have a huge engaged audience, right, that is just familiar with your own sense of humor, or maybe your the some of the jokes that you have on your show. I don’t think it’s wrong, I think you should think about borrowing some jokes from the broader pop culture, whether that’s something you saw in sports, whether that’s something that you it could be a political thing. It depends what your show is about specific. There are plenty of examples. And you probably know if some meme that you’ve engaged with or seen, one exercise could be thinking through how that relates to the last episode that you talked about or something recent that you’ve made.
Carlton Riffel 25:58
Yeah, I was gonna try to get us to come up with a meme on the spot, but I don’t know if it’s possible. Adam’s takeaway for this episode is “talk about politics in your podcast.”
Adam Vazquez 26:10
Well, yeah, that’s a whole series, you said, you pitched on Slack the other day that, that, that got me nervous. But I think that there are tons of memes. But again, see, they don’t, they don’t always fit like the first one pops in my head is there’s this very famous Brian Windhorst tweet right now that’s going around, where he has his fingers in the air, and he just looks ridiculous. But some people don’t know who Brian Windhorst is. So you have to make sure that there’s some connection between your audience and the actual meme itself.
With that, Carlton, we’ve talked through our structure, the direct assets, the indirect assets, and some other things for growth, hopefully, this is helpful for you, if you are creating if you’re thinking about creating other ancillary content.
Before we go, let’s get to our tweet of the week. I don’t I don’t have mine pulled up, Carlton. So you start if you’ve got it going.
Carlton Riffel 27:01
Okay. So here is a short tweet that I thought was pretty interesting, maybe apply to some of you who are leaders. This is seven powerful coaching questions from Teddy. I’m gonna butcher this last name, need to practice my trostle this. I think that’s what it is. So I just call him Teddy. Teddy. He’s got some coaching questions. First one is, and what else? Right. So you’re coaching, just not cutting people off and injecting your opinion, but asking them what else? How can I help? What do you want? Some You seem pretty obvious, but they’re actually pretty powerful. What’s on your mind? What are you saying no to that that one was good. What was most useful for you? What would be most useful for you? And then what’s the real challenge for you? So just some interesting questions. That seems super basic. But I think as leaders, sometimes we’re too quick to inject our opinion on things instead of just asking some questions that let people think about something a little bit different or force people to maybe take a little bit of a second thought about what their what it is they’re telling you. So I thought that was interesting and something that’s helpful for leaders.
Adam Vazquez 28:17
Yours was helpful so I am going to be less helpful. Mine is my favorite is from at Chris J. Baqi ba K. K. E. And he talks he’s he tweeted, I worked five side hustles to make over $2 million a year. Number one, podcasting recorded one episode last year $0 Number two, blogging a substack with 100 followers $0. Yeah, number three, YouTube, I watch a lot of it $0 Number four, my trust fund $2 million. Number five, Airbnb renting out a house that I inherited an additional 250k. Keep after it. Keep grinding.
Carlton Riffel 28:55
Yeah, I’ve seen several that are hilarious. Like, seven ways that I’ve made a million dollars and like the last one is where it’s like I—
Adam Vazquez 29:04
Or love when people are like the fastest way to make $1.5 million, invest $2 million in Bitcoin, wait six months or whatever like that was that. But with that, hopefully this was a helpful episode to you, if you use it or if you have some other things that we missed. When it comes to creating a lot of assets out of your episode. Hit us up. I’d love to hear from you and hear what you do that we can learn from as well. Otherwise, we’ll see you next week.