Evo Terra is the CEO of Simpler Media Productions and a podcast strategist with two decades of experience in business operations. He launched his first podcast at 36 years old back in 2004 before podcasting became popular. He has been a host or co-host of over 20 different podcasts and has consulted for, edited, and advised over 700 podcasts — and counting.
Evo is the co-author of Podcasting for Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices For Dummies. He is also the host of Podcast Pontifications, a show that advances podcasting by examining the challenging — and often existential — questions surrounding the medium.
Evo Terra, the CEO of Simpler Media Productions, is John Corcoran’s guest in this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where he discusses the lessons learned from podcasting since 2004. Evo explains how the podcast industry has evolved over the years, how it has impacted his life, and common mistakes new podcasters make.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- What inspired Evo Terra to start a podcast in 2004?
- How the podcasting industry has evolved over the years
- Is it too late to start a podcast now?
- How Evo got to write Podcasting for Dummies — and his experience creating it
- Evo shares what excites him about podcasting in 2021 and the impacts of podcasting on his life
- Common mistakes new podcasters make — and Evo’s advice to potential podcasters
- The peers and podcasters Evo respects and those he acknowledges for his achievements
- Where to learn more and get in touch with Evo Terra
- Simpler Media Productions
- Evo Terra on LinkedIn
- Evo Terra on Twitter
- Podcasting for Dummies by Evo Terra and Tee Morris
- Expert Podcasting Practices For Dummies by Evo Terra, Tee Morris, and Ryan C. Williams
- Podcast Pontifications
- Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane
- Todd Cochrane on LinkedIn
- Rob Walch on LinkedIn
- Rob Greenlee on LinkedIn
- “Spotify, Apple, Amazon and What’s Next in Podcasting, with a Podcast Hall of Fame Member” with Rob Greenlee on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast
- James Cridland on LinkedIn
- Sounds Profitable
- Bryan Barletta on LinkedIn
- Hug House Productions
- Wil Williams on LinkedIn
- Clubhouse App
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
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Rise25 was co-founded by Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran who have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.
John Corcoran 0:40
Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I am the host of this show. You know, every week I get to talk to so many interesting CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs of all kinds of different companies and organizations ranging from YPO to EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending Tree, Open Table, ACT! Software, and many more. Go check out my back catalog. There’s some amazing interviews back there. I’m also the Co-founder of Rise25, where we help to connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And my guest here today, his name is Evo Terra, and he at 36 years old launched his first podcast way back in 2004. For those of you who don’t know the history of podcasting, that is incredibly early. That is the early stages. People say that I started early. 2010 was the late days compared to when he started. And I always like tapping into the knowledge of people who got started early in podcasting. He’s also the author of Podcasting for Dummies, which he authored back in 2005, the host or co-host of over 20 different podcasts and counting, and consulted for edited or advised in over 700 podcasts and counting. He’s been doing it for about 20 years or so running the business operations for digital advertising agencies. So he’ll have lots to say about this emerging medium, which I love being a part of. So Evo, it’s such a pleasure to have you here today. So take me back 2004 man, that is really early days, back before we all had ubiquitous smartphones. And it was easy to get a podcast, it wasn’t easy back then. But what did you see? How did you end up starting a podcast back then? What inspired it?
Evo Terra 2:17
Yeah, it was a lot different. Back in those days. This was before there was such a thing as an iPhone, right. So all of that all that predates that. I stumbled into podcasting from a very strange way I was doing radio previously, like a lot of people who were in podcasting these days. But I was doing radio form from the point of view of not being on a radio station, but from being in an internet radio thing, which basically means you’re doing everything on your own. You’re loading things up, you’re putting things on a web server, you’re doing all the things that we do as podcasters today without any of the tools that we have today as podcasters. So that was my foray in as we were doing the radio show for a couple of years, when we heard about podcasting, it was very simple for us to hand, just do a quick little changeup of things. And suddenly we were podcasting. And that’s why I had the 14th podcast ever, all the way back then. But it was quite different back then. As I said, there, you know, there was no such thing as an iPhone. So if you wanted to listen to a podcast, which you know, some of us did, we had to transfer the files from our computer and put it on some sort of an mp3 playing device whether that was an old I river machine, which no one remembers, or burning things on CD. I remember a lot of a lot of truckers would save up a lot of our shows and burn them on CDs and their long haul run. So it was a crazy wild time. But certainly a whole lot of fun.
John Corcoran 3:40
Wow, did you see the medium going to the place where it is today? Did you see a lot of potential?
Evo Terra 3:47
Oh, I mean, I think we were terribly excited about what could happen and how we could raise independent voices and people who didn’t have to go through the gatekeepers. There were a lot of cool opportunities. The other thing I was excited about was it was a medium that had no rules. We could do whatever we wanted to do. And I’ve been developing digital content for a long time. And it’s one of the things that drew me to digital was the fact that you can kind of do whatever you want to do. If you want to make a really cool website. Awesome. You can do that. Same thing in podcasting, how do you take your content and express it in this brand new medium that has no gatekeepers? It has no real rules. It has very loose structuring, what can you do and from early on, there are people who just did all sorts of really crazy cool things. It was a fun time to have to be a part of it. And the thing I’m most excited about John is that that really hasn’t stopped. There’s just more of it happening now. Some people do crazy avant garde weird things. Sure. Lots of people following in line doing the same thing everybody else does. But there are still people out there experimenting in his medium. And that’s what keeps me coming back to it every single day.
John Corcoran 4:49
Yeah, what I think is really exciting was telling someone earlier today about this is that, you know, there’s such creativity happening there, you know, TV production companies that have gotten into producing saying, Oh, yeah, you know, these amazing, amazing content on podcasts.
Evo Terra 5:06
Yeah, that’s one of the big things I think the future is going to hold for podcasting is. Now these television studios are looking at podcasting as a viable medium, either to test out an idea, it’s because it’s cheaper to make a podcast, and it is a pilot. Even if you spend lots of money to make a really good podcast, it’s still less money than anything shot on film or for video for TV and stuff. So it’s a great way for them to try out new content and see what sticks. But also, it’s a great way to it’s a new content stream for them, not everything that they pick up. And trial as a podcast is going to make its way to TV. It doesn’t have to or even the big screen, the medium itself, as podcasting is getting big enough now to where that in and of itself becomes viable.
John Corcoran 5:47
Yeah. And what do you say to people who I’m sure you hear this all the time, who say, oh, man, you know, it’s too late to get started with that everyone else has in advance, head started on me.
Evo Terra 6:00
Same thing I’ve been telling people for the longest time, look there, nothing’s new. And also everything’s new. At the same time. We’re talking digital medium, there is no scarcity we have to deal with there when we take an approach of abundance, because there’s always somebody coming up with something new. Every day, brand new people come into podcasting. And they’re not scared of the fact that there are 2 million podcasts available. They don’t care about that. They’re not trying to sort everything and get it just to make the kind of content you want. It’s a great medium. I’ve published books and there are more books published every year than there are podcasts. There are more songs written every year than there are podcasts, more YouTube videos, and no one staying away from those channels. Don’t stay away from podcasts because you think it’s saturated. It’s not like everything else digital, it’s unlimited.
John Corcoran 6:48
How did the opportunity to write the ‘Dummies’ book come along?
Evo Terra 6:50
Fortuitously, the first podcast I was doing was an interview show where we were talking with science fiction authors. And most of them were what I call under published authors back in the day, this is before there was such that Amazon back then sold physical things that didn’t sell ebooks way back then. So one of the people who’d been a guest on our show and become a friend was an author, but he would write fantasy books, but he also made a good portion of his living writing nonfiction books. He called me one day and said we have a chance to write a book about podcasting. Do you want in and when he told me it was for dummies? People? I said, Tell him Yes. Because being an old marketer, I know that I wouldn’t have to do any marketing work for that book. It would do its own thing sitting on the shelf, it would either buy it or they would not. So yeah, his agent reached out to him. He reached out to me and said you want to collaborate together? And so we did it. And what was the experience? Like what was the reaction after you came out with it? Well, the experience for me from a person who had never done a lot of writing in my time, but never actually a book writing and it was terrifying. To be really honest with.
John Corcoran 7:58
Yeah, those are not small bucks. They are definitive guides.
Evo Terra 8:02
Yeah, Definitive Guide. They, being Wiley has an extremely rigid way that they want you to write these books. And my partner who’d written several different nonfiction books before technical how-to manuals, he fought them tooth and nail. And when he finally turned in his sample chapter, uncharacteristically, like a week early. I hadn’t written anything on mine because I was terrified. He turns in, and they turn it right back around the next two days, and I open up his file, and it’s just a sea of red. They’ve just marked through everything with track changes and all this and I’m just freaking out. I, what did I get myself into? So I went to the bookstore, and I bought a copy of RSS Feeds for Dummies, which was as close as I could come to a podcasting for dummies book already. And I read that for dummies book cover to cover. No one ever reads for dummies book covers, but I did it twice. Twice. I read it cover to cover. And then I sat down and hammered out my chapter mailed it in on Monday. Got it returned to me on Tuesday with three changes. Well, I taught myself how to write the way that for dummies people want me to write. And so from there on smooth sailing, I had no problems writing the book whatsoever.
John Corcoran 9:16
Well, well. And then what was the reaction like after the book came out?