Elise Chand’s father was a journalist broadcaster. He was an NBC newscaster for the White House and prior to that worked at WAVY in Virginia. She’s been around audio a good part of her life and has a love for telling stories, which she does on her podcast Because of Horses. Now, Chand is launching a school to help others tell their story. We spoke to her about her new project called The JSchool For Podcasters.
PBJ: You are launching The J School For Podcasters. Tell us about it.
Elise: I’ve noticed there are so many people with terrific passion and there is a podcast for any interest. The ideas some people have are great but the execution is sometimes lacking. It is not for lack of hard work or passion but simply lack of experience. There are wonderful tools out there now like Dave Jackson School, which is phenomenal. I have not really seen anyone focus on content. As I connect with people through my coaching, I’m hearing questions like how long should my show run or what day of the week should it be released, is it better to research before and be prepared. The inevitable question of how do I get more listeners. Those questions morph off of how do I get guests and find my voice, talk about the topics I am passionate about in a way that is engaging for listeners. Not seeing anything out there focused on the content side, making a podcast engaging, I thought this is something I could offer and try to help the little guy be more polished and confident in that conversational approach.
PBJ: There seems to be a lot of teachers out there, are you worried you’ll get lost in the weeds? How are you going to stand out?
Elise: I think there is a broad and diverse opportunity for everybody. I think we all complement each other versus compete with each other. There’s plenty of room for everybody. The thing about teaching, coaching, instructing is we all have different styles, backgrounds, and levels of experience. It’s a matter for students or clients to find the coach that works best for them.
PBJ: What is your advice for podcasters?
Elise: You have to choose a topic that you are passionate about. There is no limit to the interest in connecting over a passion. There is a podcast for every interest. The second aspect about podcasting is that cliche that this is a marathon not a sprint. If you are not prepared to get in and stick with it for the long haul you will not last. And why would you do that to yourself, especially if you are doing it part-time around a regular job, family etc. The biggest aspect for small independent podcasters is not with the components of producing a podcast and carving out that time, but more that there is a huge influx of big guys coming in. Radio broadcasters coming into podcasting. The small guys may find that intimidating but there is room for everybody. Be passionate about that thing that drove you to even consider it and stick with it. Podcasting is every man and woman’s voice. It is an intimate relationship we have with podcasters. We fit them into our lives in ways that are specific to our lives. It’s not that you are NPR or CBS who will attract people automatically and launch your first podcast with a few hundred downloads. You have to find your own place.
PBJ: What do you want our readers to know about the new school?
Elise: All of the focus on production, so the technical side, which services you go with, do you have a website or not is important but at the end of the day that is not what will get people to listen to your podcast. What people connect with in podcasting is your voice, personality, where you are coming from, and what you are trying to express. So the technical stuff is obviously critical — you have to keep in mind content really matters. The importance of crafting your show in such a way so that it is meaningful and connects with people who share your passion cannot be overstated. That is where J School For Podcasters comes in. We are focused on helping develop the voice, providing the confidence, know-how, skills, and resources to be able to produce a show in such a way that it is true to your passions and those listening.