Podcasting can be frustrating. if you're not having fun, it's easy to become complacent, and, eventually, quit. As we all know, getting your message into the ears of your perfect audience doesn't happen overnight. Here at The Podcast Host, we continually find new ways to eliminate obstacles between your message and your audience. What better way to fan the embers of your enthusiasm than with witty metaphor? Take, for example, the popular Canadian tv sitcom, Schitt's Creek. Let's have some fun, and see what we can learn about podcasting, the Schitt's Creek way.
This critically-acclaimed series details the lives of the wealthy, connected Rose family. When their business manager embezzles all their money, they're thrown into near-poverty and isolation. They move into a hotel in their sole remaining asset, the town of Schitt's Creek. There, they have to learn to connect with others and use available resources to construct some meaning in their lives. Over six seasons, the characters' experiences were much like podcasters'. They're lonely, facing risks, and have to make mistakes and learn from them. None of these characters was focused enough to make a podcast. But if they did try podcasting in Schitt's Creek, what would it be like?
(Warning: this article contains spoilers for Schitt's Creek. if you haven't seen it yet, and still want to, what are you waiting for? It's hilarious.)
Johnny Rose: Entrepreneurial Podcaster
The patriarch of the Rose family built a profitable business empire based on video stores, only to have to all disappear when his financial manager betrayed him. He didn't lose his business acumen, though. If anything, his determination and solid work ethic has sharpened. He gives out copies of his business-management book, Fast Forward to Success, to anyone who will hold still long enough.
If a business isn't meeting its goals, he rolls up his sleeves, pitches in and helps out to the best of his ability. His experience and interest in growing a business, connecting with customers, and drive to meet goals makes him the perfect entrepreneurial podcaster. Even more than that, Johnny has already written a book. He probably could read a chapter per episode and reflect on how business has changed, and get a great first season out of it.
Johnny's weakness is technology. He has high standards for it, owning a good smartphone, and insisting on quality. He embraced video in the 80s, so he should be interested in podcasting now. Though he can clean and greet guests at a five-star level, he can barely use the motel computer to book rooms. This is a situation where he'd want to have great audio, but no patience to learn the software. He's very smart, and his content is nearly ready to go. But it's hard to imagine him editing it to his high standards. Johnny would definitely have to use an all in one tool like Alitu to record, edit, and publish his podcast. He would also have to convince his wife Moira to make room in her closet to use as a sound booth. But, with her gowns and haute couture attire as padding, it'd be an excellent silent home recording studio.
David Rose: Cultural Connection Podcasting
David Rose has two modes: elegant aesthete, and fragile banshee. He's built his life around the pursuit of things which are beautiful, inspiring, and/or provocative. Unfortunately, when things don't go his way, he melts down. If he could only convince everyone in the world to choose a life of good taste and sophistication, everything would be fine. He manages to start a boutique of locally-sourced home decor and beauty items. But, he can't keep it from failing without relying on his partner, Patrick, for accounting and business guidance. He enjoys hosting events at the boutique, serving wine to customers, but isn't focused enough to prevent shoplifters from preying on the lip balm.
David's podcast could focus on beauty and home decor products, and fashion advice. It would be a good advertisement for his boutique, especially if he hosted live recordings at the store. Podcasting in Schitt's Creek might mean a lot of interruption from his customers and neighbors, so he'd need a mic with a convenient mute button. His creativity and attention to quality means he'd have very high standards for audio. Music would be very important in his branding; he'd have to find some royalty-free tracks. Despite his abilities with social media and social skills, he wouldn't have the patience for editing and sound mixing. His mood swings would probably result in a lot of clipping in his vocal tracks, and he'd need good gain staging. Essentially, he'd need to use something that would record, edit, upload, and publish his articles for him. Just like Patrick.
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Stevie Budd: Private Podcasting
This fan favorite and friend to the Rose family is too private to ever make a podcast. The only way she would do it would be if she could control every aspect of recording, editing and mixing, uploading and publishing. She'd be happy to spend time alone, planning, recording, and polishing each episode, but every time she uploaded a file to the media host, she'd have a panic attack. She would probably have a private RSS feed, keep it to herself, and only release it after her death in a thousand years, only to David.
Alexis Rose: Wellness Podcasting
Alexis' beauty has defined her entire existence. Detached from her wealthy friends and lovers, her main reason for living at first is social status and romance. Her creativity and determination gives her excellent problem solving skills. Over time, she finishes school, gets her degree, and starts a career in public relations. Though she seems overly concerned with visual interest, she could be the perfect podcaster. She's willing to learn new things, and wants to share them with others. Much like her brother, David, she'd make an excellent podcast about fashion, health and beauty topics. After single-handedly running a speed-dating event for hundreds of local singles at once, she definitely could be podcasting in Schitt's Creek about relationship advice. With that arsenal, she could give Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop podcast a run for its money, for a wellness podcast and brand.
Alexis would have no trouble with podcast promotion. Again, like her brother David, she'd need to rely on outside help with the technology. She's a wizard with her phone, visually oriented, and needs fast results. Alexis would need a tool that allows her to drag and drop elements into an audio timeline, then upload and publish. If she ever saw a waveform, she'd probably say, “ew.”
Roland Schitt: Historian and Handyman
The mayor of Schitt's Creek is known for his boorish behavior, but most people (other than the Rose family) find him hilarious. He thinks he can fix anything, and works as a handyman at the Rosebud Motel. He's especially proud of his family lineage and name. This is a guy who can never stop talking about himself. He'd definitely want to be podcasting Schitt's Creek history, not to mention about his family. The questionable sign that greets visitors at the town limits could be a whole episode's topic.
However, Roland's ideas far exceed his ability to execute them. He would probably record one episode, talking for several hours, two of them before he remembered to hit record. Then, he'd spend the next five weeks with his nose in a DAW, fiddling with noise levels and sound floor, picking here and poking there to get the audio mix just right. He always thinks there's a shortcut or a cheaper option, which leads to huge mistakes. While he might enjoy spending time learning the intricacies of sound editing, he'd probably spill a beer on his portable hard drive and erase all of his podcasting files.
Moira Rose: A Diva With Values
“Grandiose” just begins to describe the matriarch of the Rose family. Moira's storied acting career and breadth of life experience makes her believe she knows what's best for everyone. Her determination to improve the town of Schitt's Creek led to her winning a seat on the town council. Often, her courage in her convictions meets opposition. She doesn't mind, though, she knows that high ideals take time to understand. Occasionally, her life advice is the key that unlocks all doors (particularly for Stevie).
Moira would be ideally suited to a podcast where she can share lessons learned over her acting career. She already has excellent voice and presentation skills. She could certainly dispense fashion, beauty, and relationship advice as well. Her fan base from her soap opera days would share her values and be ready to listen to her podcasting in Schitt's Creek like parishioners in church on Sunday. Even if her download numbers weren't astonishing, she would commit to reaching a few like-minded souls in a way that can improve their lives.
Much like her husband, Johnny, though, if you sat her down in front of a computer, she'd need someone else to do it for her. She's confident with a smartphone, so a drag and drop interface that's as quick and simple as web-surfing would let her get back to planning her next podcast episode.
What can you learn from Podcasting the Schitt's Creek Way?
- There's always someone willing to help: treat them kindly.
- Don't let technicalities get in the way of your bold ideas.
- With enthusiasm and determination, anything is possible.
- Never touch poison oak with your bare hands.
- No matter where you are, you can always shine.
Some podcasters really like the nitty gritty of recording, editing, polishing and publishing. Others don't, and that's okay. You shouldn't let tasks that you don't enjoy doing get in the way of your message. You should be able to get your podcast out into the world with a minimum of fuss. That's why we created Alitu. You can use it to record, edit and publish, all in one web-based location. And now, our call recording feature lets you have up to six people recording together at once. With that kind of technology, you can share and refine all kinds of interesting ideas. Check out Alitu's 7-day free trial now.
Again, if you haven't seen Schitt's Creek, you should. It's a terrific comedy about love, compromise, and lifting each other up. Isn't that what you want podcasting to do?