Podcast listeners are often on-the-go when they listen to your podcast. They might or might not have subscribed already. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to get and stay connected with you. Texting (SMS) is the way to go since they are already on their phones. I use a drip campaign to get them on my email list, give them my email address, website, YouTube channel, and eventually invite them to become a Patreon patron.

I have set up a texting (SMS) service that operates similarly to an email list. Customers text to join the list. I do not use this list to provide content updates. You want to keep the number of text messages to a minimum. I use the list to drip information to them on how they can find my content in other ways.

I chose an easy to remember textword. It’s one associated with my podcast and my book. You don’t want anything complicated or too long. I chose the word GROWTH. I recorded an outro (that I include at the end of every episode) with instructions to text GROWTH to 31996.

To make it easier for people in the car, I included instructions to say “Hey Siri, send a message to 31996“. Siri responds with “What would you like to say?” They say “GROWTH” and they’re on the list. This also works with “OK Google” for Android users.

Once they’re on the list, I send a text with my email address and instructions to sign up for my newsletter. This way they can contact me. And, they get email updates every time I post to my blog. This comes immediately in the auto-reply. Then over the course of the coming days, I have a drip campaign that sends them more information. I make sure they’re subscribed to the podcast. I send them my YouTube channel.  Once they have been on the list for sixty days, I ask if they’d like to become a patron of the show.

You can use any SMS service that offers drip campaigns. The SMS service I use is SlickText.*  I’ve been with them for years for my retail business. SlickText is a small company. But, their support is excellent. I have developed relationships with the people there who have given me excellent marketing advice. SlickText has excellent support, a lot of helpful features, and they are inexpensive. Since I was already using them, my incremental cost is almost zero. They have plans starting at $29.

If you sign up with SlickText using the link provided here, I will receive a small commission. Use promotion code [email protected] to take 15% off of your first month’s bill.

 

Here in the northern hemisphere, it’s late October. The leaves are turning, the skies are often gray all day, and the days are short. If you’re feeling a little SAD, there may be a good reason for it.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects an estimated 5% of the population in a significant way. Another ten to twenty percent may have mild SAD. Sad’s impact is higher the farther north you live. It is four times more common in women than in men.

As we slide into the holidays, you might feel less energetic, less enthusiastic about life, and have a desire to hibernate. My theory is the reason we have so many holidays in the fall and winter is because of the lack of sun. We put them there because we want something to cheer us up. Sadly, for many of us, the holidays are a real struggle. SAD exacerbates that struggle.

Exercise becomes more challenging to do. Ironically, while we are less active, we often crave high-calorie comfort foods, which can lead to weight gain, especially when coupled with less activity.

The Good News

There is good news. The older we get, the less like we are to succumb to SAD. SAD is, by definition, temporary. It’s seasonal. Once you recognize that you are susceptible to SAD, you are well on your way to dealing with it.

What You Can Do

Some things you can do are to make sure you get out in whatever light there is as much as you can. Plan a short walk during the day. It’s easier said than done, especially if you live in places that get ice and snow. I have set a routine that I stick to regardless of the weather or the amount of daylight. This time of year, I sometimes take a flashlight on my morning walks. Be grateful for the little things. I love to walk at sunrise. It’s easy to get up before the sun during these months. On a cold winter’s day, if there’s some sun, soak it in. The sun, when there is sun, shines in my bedroom window in the afternoon. I’ll take the opportunity to sit in the sun and meditate, killing two birds with one stone- getting in my meditation time and soaking in the sun. That’s what I’m doing here.

Soaking in the late fall sun and getting in some meditation.

Supplementing with Vitamin D can help with SAD. Our vitamin D levels drop when we get less sunlight. For darker-skinned people, vitamin D year-round isn’t bad. You might need extra vitamin D in the the winter. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of  symptoms including feeling tired, joint pain and even hair loss. If you have any questions, see your doctor.

If your SAD is significant, there are lights you can get that mimic sunlight. I used one for a couple of years and found that it helped.

For me, merely knowing that SAD is a real thing helped me significantly. As my energy levels drop in the fall and early winter, I know it’s natural and temporary. I go with it. I sleep in a bit later. I go to bed earlier. I watch my diet. I make sure to keep up my exercise routine. I’ve got December 22nd circled on my calendar. It’s just 61 days away now. The next day, there will be just a few more minutes of daylight, and we will be heading into days with more sun.

 

The podcast is doing great. I’ve cracked the top 1,500 in Religion & Spirituality in the United States. I need your help to climb higher.

Apples loves ratings and reviews. Thus far, I have 7 ratings and 2 reviews. Getting those numbers up will help more people find the podcast.

You can leave a review with just a few clicks of your mouse. It should take you no more than a couple of minutes.

First, go here to find my podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/grief-2-growth/id1466772425


Once you’ve found the podcast, please click on Listen On Apple Podcasts:


You will be prompted to Open iTunes:


Once iTunes is open: click Ratings and Reviews:



Almost there. Click “Write A Review“:

 


I trust you can take it from there. No less than five stars, please. ?

Thank you so much!

What you’ll need:

  • A decent quality microphone.  The microphone on your laptop or built-in on your desktop will not suffice. Sometimes they are almost good enough. But, a better microphone will give you more consistent results and improve the quality of your voice. If you’re just starting out, plan to spend $50-200 on a decent microphone. I started with the Blue Snowball. I’m still using it. I will probably upgrade soon. But, this is a great start.

    I’d classify it as a pro-sumer microphone, professional quality at a consumer price. The link below will take you to it on Amazon. If you buy using this link, I’ll get a small commission.

  • Audacity– free software for both PC and Mac. Depending on what you’re trying to do, you’ll probably have to download one or two free software add-ons.

Yes, you’re going to need a decent microphone. My podcasting platform has an app that lets me record from my phone. I have one word about that – don’t. Garbage in, garbage out. Unless you’re doing podcasts from remote locations, record from a good microphone.

You should try to find a quiet place where you’ll have a minimum of disruptions. The room doesn’t have to be completely silent. A good microphone will not pick most of the background noise because of the directionality. We’ll go through an initial step that will remove any ambient background noise. Learn the settings for your microphone’s directionality and take a look at the tips as to where your mouth should be positioned relative to the microphone. Invest in a pop filter. I got one for my microphone for less than $10. These little things will make your podcast sound professional.

Step 1: Record 5+ seconds of silence.

First of all: Before you begin to speak or sing, you should always make sure that you record at least 5+ seconds of silence with your Blue Snowball microphone. This “silence” will allow you to generate a profile of the background noise around you.

Step 2. Noise reduction.

Because it is possible that the microphone picked up some ambient background noises, we will need to remove these noises by using the Noise Reduction effect:

  1. Highlight and select the silence at the beginning of your recording (click and drag your cursor).
  2. Go to the Effect menu at the top of Audacity.
  3. In the Noise Reduction screen, select the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option.
  4. Click on Get Noise Profile.
  5. Highlight your entire track. You can do this by double-clicking the track.
  6. Go back to the Effect menu and click on the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option again.
  7. In the Noise Reduction screen, click on OK.
  8. Delete the silence at the beginning of your track.

Step 3. Normalize.

After removing our background noises, we will use the Normalize effect:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is checked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unchecked.
  5.  Press OK.

Step 4. Compressor.

Once you’ve normalized the track, you will use the Compressor:

  1. Make sure that your Audacity track is completely highlighted.
  2. Select the Compressor option in the Effect menu.
  3. Do not change any of Audacity’s default Compressor settings unless you know what you are doing.
  4. Press OK.

In the past, I have had success changing the Threshold value to -18 dB, so you might want to test that out. Just try it, listen. If you don’t like it, undo the effect.

Step 5. Equalization.

Now, we will add bass boost and treble boost to our recording. This is where the magic happens.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Select Curve dropdown menu at the bottom, choose Bass Boost.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Make sure that your entire Audacity track is still highlighted.
  6. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu again.
  7. This time, in the Select Curve dropdown menu, choose Treble Boost.
  8. Press OK. Equalization is done.

Step 6. Normalize again.

After applying the bass boost and treble boost, you will need to Normalize your track again. To do this, simply follow the exact same directions that were listed in Step 3.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is checked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unchecked.
  5.  Press OK.

Step 7. Limiter.

Finally, you can use Audacity’s Limiter effect to reduce limits that exceed a certain threshold:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Limiter option in the Effect menu. On some versions of Audacity, this effect may be called Hard Limit.
  3. Choose Hard Limit in the Type dropdown menu at the top.
  4. Set Input Gain (dB) mono / Left to 0.00
  5. Set Input Gain (dB) Right channel to 0.00 as well.
  6. Limit to (dB) should be set to -4.00
  7. Hold (ms) should be set to 10.00
  8. The dropdown menu for Apply Make-up Gain should be set to No.
  9. Press OK.

Listen to your track again. After each step above, you might want to listen to a sample to get to understand what each step does and adjust to your liking. You might like more or less bass or treble boost for example.