Our New Podcast Format at TrainedUp

TLDR, we’re relaunching the TrainedUp podcast as a daily (Monday-Thursday), episodic show with one guest per week talking about a single topic each day.

I’m working on a new podcast for TrainedUp for 2019. We’ve switched up the format and, since it’s a little nontraditional, I’d like to explain why we are designing it this way.

To me, there are three primary pillars of a podcast that make the difference in whether I listen to it or not.

  1. People – Do I like the people on the podcast? Are they relatable or respectable or knowledgeable or approachable or easy to listen to or wise or experienced? You get the idea. The host and guests are pretty important.
  2. Content – Does the podcast cover something I’m interested in? Is it relevant to my life or work? Do I find it useful or helpful? Is it entertaining?
  3. Format – Does the format match the people and the content? Is it too long or short for the person of the topic? Is it mind-numbingly deep or too shallow to be helpful? Is it published so infrequently that there’s no connection between episodes?

When we launched the Thriving Ministry Teams podcast in early 2018, it was an experiment. It was our first foray into this content type and we had no expectations for what it would be or become. What we did expect is to learn a ton…and that’s what happened.

What we learned from our podcast in 2018

Running the podcast last year taught us a bunch. For one, we learned that Kevin is awesome at running a crisp podcast, but his time is already pulled in other directions with managing our marketing endeavors that it’s hard for him to run a podcast, too.

Second, we learned that a podcast with just he and I as the only hosts quickly runs out of topics we can discuss with any level of authority or experience. We haven’t been in ministry long enough to talk weekly about ministry and still be helpful to people.

Third, we really wanted to be able to go deeper on topics. Since we are limited in our experience, the only way to go deeper would be to include guests on our podcast.

What the new podcast format looks like

We stopped running the podcast last year due to time constraints, mainly. So when we decided to relaunch it for 2019, we decided to switch up the format, too.

Here’s the gist of the new format. It’s deeper, includes a different guest each week, and runs about an hour each week. However, we’re breaking every guest interview into four episodes that roll out daily, Monday thru Thursday. Each episode will focus on one topic and run about 15 minutes.

Every week will have a high-level theme or topic, but each episode will be a focus on one question that the guest is answering. This has a few benefits. First, it’ll allow us to spend a more time with each guest. Second, it still allows us to keep content brief. Third, it lets people easily listen to the topics or questions that most interest them. Fourth, you can still listen to the whole interview if you’re interested in the whole thing. Fifth, it keeps the rhythm consistent and syncs to most ministry leaders’ weekly schedules.

It’s definitely more work to split one interview into four episodes, but I think the work is worth it for audience friendliness.

We rolled out the first episode yesterday with Aimee Scott, currently our Customer Success Manager at TrainedUp.