In this week’s episode, Keith and Katie talk about the importance of clear and honest communication. Keith shares his best podcasting tips for beginners, his keeping-things-simple approach to marketing and a few things he’s watched recently that have inspired his business.
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Regular listeners may well recognise Keith as the wonderful man who edits the Whin Big Podcast – but when he’s not helping us create the podcast, he runs and operates the WEL Podcast Studio, which is part of Woosh Entertainments.
Keith runs Woosh Entertainment with his brother. As well as running a popular podcast studio, they provide announcers, PA systems and music for sports events such as Euro 2020 football at Hampden Park and the Commonwealth Games.
Finding a passion at an early age
Keith and his brother Graeme were always kicking a ball about when they were kids and grew up near a large playing field. Sport was a big part of their life growing up; they’d watch different sports on TV and then recreate what they’d seen on the playing field with their friends.
So far, pretty traditional for boys growing up together before Sky Sports. Katie’s curious about how this motivated the brothers to turn their love for sports into their careers.
Their business journey – one disco at a time
The brothers’ first business was Woosh! Mobile Discos, a business that thrived out of their involvement with Edinburgh scouting. They would take their mobile disco to various events scouting events, which proved an excellent way to build up a strong bank of clients.
At the same time, Graeme was training to be a teacher, so they niched their business, to specialise in the youth disco market.
“We specialised in doing schools and youth groups. We had stickers that said ‘I’ve been to a Woosh Disco’ it was a way of connecting before social media.” – Keith
Moving into the world of sports
Family connections with local basketball clubs helped them move into the sporting world. For Keith (and his business) this was the perfect place to start. Twenty years ago, basketball was seen as an American sport – and with that came announcers, music and entertainment.
Podcasting: combining passion with PR activities
Graeme – a big music lover – had always been curious about the types of music athletes listen to before or after competing. He was eager to explore this in a regular podcast and realised that a podcast would be a great way to showcase his talents for future job prospects.
Keith also loves music and co-hosts his podcast – The Cake Show – a music playlist and podcast that he runs with his musician friend Caroline.
Both podcasts are hosted on Mixcloud to address any issues around music licensing law.
Podcasting for beginners (the shoestring approach)
If ‘starting a podcast’ is on your list for content creation, but the budget to hire someone like Keith isn’t quite there (yet) – Keith shares his tips on getting started without going to the bank for a loan.
Podcast tips for shoestring startups
You might think that you need a stack of up-to-the-minute tech to get started on your podcast journey, but Keith talks us through some ideas that will help you on your way using things you already have to hand.
Smartphone: Your sound system
Download an audio app (usually free or already built into your device) to record conversations and audio.
Use a video editing app (again often free) to edit the audio before uploading it to the podcast platform.
Earphones as microphone
Keith recommends using the earphones that came with your device (although he’s not so keen on Bluetooth headphones that might run out of battery halfway through the recording).
The space around you
Think about the environment you’re recording in. Avoid recording in big, airy rooms or rooms with hard surfaces (like the bathroom).
Keith advises recording in a soft space – you can achieve this with duvets, cushions, and hoodies draped around.
Keep the camera running
Even if you’re not uploading a video, Keith recommends keeping the Zoom camera on when you’re interviewing guests online. Katie entirely agrees as there’s a lot of non-verbal cues to show your guest you’re keen for them to keep talking.
This tip can help your podcast sound much more like a natural conversation – something your listeners will appreciate from the start.
“If Zoom is good enough for the BBC and Sky TV, then it’s good enough for your podcast.” – Keith
Marketing to different types of audience
One thing that stands out for Katie is the different audiences that access Keith’s services. To deal with that, Keith has given the podcast studio a dedicated area on the Woosh websites, and sends people directly there when they’re interested.
As well as having separate webpages, the brothers have individual pages and accounts across social. They use Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook and know the importance of keeping the balance between business and personal style posts.
“You are the product. People want to see what you do; they want to see what you are doing. They don’t just want to read about what you can do on your website.” – Keith
Keeping things simple
Katie and Keith discuss the importance of keeping schedules, plans and services really simple to manage client’s expectations. For Keith, it’s all too easy to overcomplicate things, often to stay relevant or look clever.
The outcome is that you don’t deliver the service your client’s looking for, which is never a good idea for your business.
Keith’s best online post
Because Keith and Graeme have always balanced out individual posts with updates on projects and events they present at, they had to tread a fine line during the pandemic. With the events and entertainment industry taking a massive hit over the past 16-18 months, they felt incredibly grateful – and lucky – to work at football events at Hampden Park stadium and play a small part in keeping football going throughout the past seasons.
The brothers have a natural ability to show gratitude and generosity when it comes to the assignments they’ve worked on. At the same time, they want to make sure they’re not coming across as arrogant or bragging.
For Keith – they’ve found the balance by keeping posts simple and using lots of humility. He’s found that his audience is more willing to engage.
“I realise I’m fortunate to be here, but I’ve worked hard for 25 years to get here. Acknowledge the people around you.” – Keith
What’s on Keith’s business bookshelf?
Keith’s not a book person. The last time he read a business book was in his student days. Instead, he listens to podcasts and watches TV, which he thinks relates very well to business and how he likes to do things.
Mark Beaumont: Global Cycling Network (Hank’s Toughest Challenge – Lands’ End to John O’Groats) – The programme shows how the journey is organised and managed. For Keith, it’s full of great business acumen: the importance of teamwork, surrounding yourself with the right people, access experts when you need them and tapping into the right mindset.
Mark Beaumont: Global Cycling Network (Cairngorms) – Another programme to highlight how possibilities are endless when you focus on teamwork, resilience and planning.
Rockfield – The Studio on the Farm (iPlayer) – This is a brilliant programme about a recording studio that’s been set up on a farm. It looks at the famous people who’ve recorded there, and the evolution of the business.
Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime – Keith knows Clarkson is a divisive figure, but this programme highlights the plight of farmers and the challenges they face. “Park whether you like Clarkson or not. When you see the people he surrounds himself with, the focus on teamwork, of resilience. That’s when it gets fascinating.”
Keep the conversation going with Keith
The WEL Podcast Studio on Facebook
The WEL Podcast Studio on Instagram
Keith Easton on LinkedIn
Resources from this week’s Whin Big Podcast
Graeme Easton’s Playlist (podcast)
The CAKE Show with Keith and Caroline