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Tools of the Podcast Trade

with Jennifer Francis

Introduce yourself.

I'm Jennifer Francis, creator, producer and host of two podcasts and content creator. I'm a firm believer that one should live life on purpose. I used my first podcast to shed light on the plight of solo moms. But the confusion surrounding the process of creating a podcast was too hard to ignore. So I created a MeetUp group to see if I was the only one having trouble deciphering the tools of the podcast trade. And not surprisingly I was not the only one with questions and confusion. After co-mentoring the host of the Prison Post Podcast, I realize I had a gift and a message for anyone who yearned to start a podcast. So I took it upon myself to start Tools of the Podcast Trade Podcast and met monthly with our MeetUp group to answer questions from attendees. Questions I had during the 6 years I studied podcasting.

I had my own fears about starting a podcast in this space. There are so many talented hosts whose been doing this for years. But I think this is a good niche for highlighting simple roadblocks that keep so many from owning their genius.

So my mission with Tools is to remove the mystery surrounding podcasting so that anyone with a desire to start a podcast can get the information they need and just start. Our messages are too important to be held up by fear and misconception. I want to remove the ugliness of Imposter Syndrome as it relates to starting a podcast.

Recently I interviewed former drug addict turned top podcast host and coach, TJ Bell. These are the people that inspire me. Because there a lots of TJ Bells out there. Maybe it's not alcohol or drugs. But fear. Or who knows?

"“It’s hard to be happy if you don’t know what you want”"

- Jennifer Francis

Share an experience that has shaped who you are today.

I've lived multiple lives. Many more than I cat. As well as lived in multiple countries. So my worldview is somewhat informed.

My 2nd husband walked out when our sons were 2 & 4 years old. After the initial mourning, I set out to create a life that worked for me and my sons. It was messy and overwhelming . But that determination lead me to start multiple businesses and self employment roles that gave me the opportunity to keep my kids out of day care.

One of my biggest strength I believe is the courage to believe that God is watching over me. That he gives us answers we least expect. It was this belief that gave me the courage to give away all my possession (except for what could fit in my Toyota Camry), pack my two young sons in the back, and moved 900 miles to New York City to accept a job that was only guaranteed for 2 weeks. And only after working for the company for 2 days. Plus tt was the top of the financial crisis and the job was with an international investment firm.

So faith is a big thing for me. I've lived it. As a divorced mom of 3 adult sons my track record would be a lot worst without this foundation.

Tell us about your podcast audience.

Our audience is made up of new podcasters or those who want to start a podcast. They may already have taken a course or watched some videos. But it seems the more they learn the more confused they become.

The intent of Tools is to provide that (2mm) gap between what they already know and launching their show. So these are people looking for answers to questions they may still have. Even after learning something about podcasting.

I aim to use conversations with experts in the industry to help listeners connect the topic with their particular situation. Whether they are frozen over what microphone to use or the pros and cons of interviewing guests.

Finally, I think by curating interviews with strong, generous guests who are experts in the podcast space, listeners can have a place to come back to again and again when they want to get a refresher in a particular aspect of their craft.

What makes your podcast unique?

Tools of the Podcast Trade examines the tools and strategies we use in podcasting. Podcasting can seem like a mystery to those who want to start a show. But the guests I interview provide valuable insights and strategies to help new and up and coming podcasters start and grow their show.

Tools is unique because it's not a general podcasting show. It focuses on the how and removes the confusion surrounding the what. But staying focused on the original intent takes effort as podcasting is still such a widely popular method for lay people to share their message.

So we discuss basic tools like what microphone to start with. Or strategies such as being an effective host. But we cover mindset and marketing strategies as well. The show is still fairly new. But I can see it becoming a valuable resource for new podcasters who are looking for on demand, curated content.

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