Over the past year I’ve been asked several times, “How did you get your wife to podcast with you?” Though there’s no guarantee that what worked for me will work for you, I’m going tell you how I did it. Hopefully you’ll get some pointers that will help you reach your couple’s-casting goals.
1. Ask her
Don’t tell her. Don’t nag her. Don’t demand it. Just start by asking… and don’t be surprised if she is appalled by the idea. Think of your asking like a seed. Plant that seed and give it time to grow. Don’t kill your chances by getting angry if she doesn’t share your passion for recording right away.
2. Keep asking
This is not the same as nagging. Once a week or so, remind your spouse about your original request. Restate how much you would enjoy it if they joined you behind a mic. Help quell their fears about the sound of their own voice (most folks hate how they sound to others). Again, you’re not nagging here, you’re watering that seed, keeping it as a possibility in the back of their mind.
3. Make it easy Podcasting takes a lot of time. For the hour you spend recording, plan on at least a half-hour of pre-show prep and up to 2 hours of post-production work. Recording can be stressful if there are children, chores or other distractions. Find a ‘hole’ in your week where there is nothing else going on. This may mean you have to make a hole by helping more around the house. Maybe you can work out a trade. Your time for a little of hers. If you can make podcasting more fun than not podcasting… chances are good that you’ll get your co-host!
4. Duplicate your equipment
If it’s important for you to podcast with your wife… prove it! If her voice is as important as yours, give her the same equipment you’re using. Make sure her ‘spot’ in the room is just as comfortable. You don’t want her sitting in a metal folding chair behind your desk while you’re enjoying a $75 Walmart office chair. Don’t toss her a $14 headset mic and expect her to feel valued. What if you can’t afford another mic? Give her yours and you take the headset. I know it seems to make sense that the host would have the best equipment… but we’re investing in the long term. You can always save and buy a mic later… but there’s no point if you don’t have a co-host by then.
5. Interview her
When she finally does relent to your wily ways, she’ll most likely do so begrudgingly. Like a child trying brussle sprouts, she’ll be willing to give it a chance, but if it doesn’t go well, she’s done. So it’s important to make her feel like a natural. One of the most common things I hear is, “I wouldn’t know what to say,” or “No one will care.” So help her with both of those fears by creating a list of interview questions for your first show together. Give them to her in advance so that she can prepare responses. Then when it’s time to record, start asking those questions. She’ll feel comfortable with the topic. She’ll be more confident and informed. And trust me, internet people love to hear ladies talk! It’s a win, win!
6. Make it a win
Speaking of win. You’ve got to make the first experience an enjoyable and memorable one. The first show is not a time to critique her mic technique, how many times she says um or smacks her lips. If you want to lose your co-host before you even have one, start trying to perfect her from the get-go. Don’t pick. Don’t make fun. Better your humor be self-defacing than making her the butt of your joke. You might even consider not releasing your first. Let her know it’s a “pilot” episode (you can always release it later once you get a listener base, fans love that kind of stuff). It may help her relax.
7. Make it fun Here are some of the things I’ve done to make podcasting as enjoyable for her as for myself.
- Set our show email to send her a copy of each email. This allows her to get the same feedback as I do and involves her in the show. It reminds her that people like what we do throughout the week.
- I got her a Twitter account. She doesn’t update it much, but she sees that she has followers and it reinforces the fact that her time podcasting is well spent.
- I gave her a segment of the show called “Ask Jenn”. I knew she would love getting questions from our listeners and answering them on the show. It gives her a value beyond just responding to a host. She’ll tell you this is her favorite part of the show… and I’d wager it’s one of the listener’s favorite parts as well.
- It’s okay to not record. If it’s been a weird week, a bad day, or if anything at all is awry… we don’t have to record. No pressure. I very much want to do a consistent show… but even more than that I want a good show that not only entertains and informs… but also bonds myself and my wife together. If we’re not both in agreement, the show will not be good and the experience will not bond. Often just taking the pressure of “WE MUST RECORD NO MATTER WHAT” off will allow for a show when otherwise it would have been to much. Podcasting must be enjoyable… and solution to stress, not the cause of any.
I hope these tips will work for you. Podcasting with my spouse has become the highlight of my week. It is a truly rewarding experience in every way. If I or Jennifer can help you in your podcast journey in any way email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you have any tips or comments? Post them in the comments!