Billy Dees Podcast Now on Facebook

Billy Dees FBTitleI know many of you may be hearing about the Billy Dees Podcast Facebook page for the first time. We just recently have been promoting it.

We are not new to podcasting. We were one of the early adopters of the podcast medium with an episode catalog going back many years and a solid presence on all of the podcasting platforms. Moreover, we have been doing professional audio and radio production for 30 years and have incorporated those tenants into every episode. We have been well respected in the production and broadcast community of northeastern Ohio for decades.

During the past several years we have maintained a social media presence on Twitter. This has worked well and continues to do so. At the same time the popularity of podcasting has skyrocketed and there has been a huge awareness growing on Facebook about podcasting in general.

What sets us apart from the growing number of podcasts that are springing up?

We strive for broadcast quality in two areas.

First, our experience in interviewing guests and creating content is as good as or better than what is found on broadcast media. The guest always comes first. We want them to shine. We do not pursue popular guests for the purpose of shining a light on us.

Second, we have a reverence for the spoken word and great audio as an art form. Since Covid19, in studio and location recording sessions have been limited. However, we have striven even with remote guests, when possible and practical, to work with the best production tools available on the internet.

You can find our Facebook page and the podcast itself below.

Thank you,

Billy Dees

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Billy Dees Talks About LinkedIn

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LinkedIn Tips

I don’t claim to be an authority about LinkedIn Strategy. I do belong to several marketing and multimedia groups whose members requested that I put something together.

As a radio production person, podcaster, and multimedia creator I have found LinkedIn useful.

The days of LinkedIn being just a place for a static online resume are over. Video use has surged on LinkedIn. I would highly recommend LinkedIn to be apart of your overall content marketing strategy.

 

The Billy Dees Podcast is Now on YouTube

Billy Dees Podcast on YouTubeI have been producing a fair amount of video content for my clients and employers for a long time. However, for whatever reason I haven’t had YouTube flashing prominently on my radar for myself.

There are two reasons why I have not. The Billy Dees Podcast has been a vehicle to demonstrate my audio production and radio skills.

It is the wheelhouse in which I feel comfortable. The last several years have been kind to my wheelhouse. Podcasts have exploded especially with streaming devices in the home and automobile. Audiobooks and even video creators who need voiceover work have also kept voice professionals busy. There was a time when being a voiceover professional was a niche profession and now there are schools and online courses to develop the skills of a burgeoning marketplace.

Secondly, work has a tendency to keep you busy, well, working. There are times when my time and creative juices have been squeezed out creating content for my clients. I very much enjoy helping others craft a message and being witness to their success. Their need for online video along with their demands has made me a better videographer and editor over the last number of years. I have found these collaborations very fulfilling and have made some great friends along the way. As the saying goes, however, there is only so much time in the day. What time I had to create content and promote myself went into such places as iTunes and Spotify.

So, why YouTube now?

I am somewhat of a small influencer on LinkedIn. Video content has risen prominently on the platform over the past two years or so. I have found myself in front of the camera more often. Additionally, I have been on TikTok. Don’t laugh. I admit I have more fun on there than I work but again, more on camera time. Therefore, I have a lot more video content that could use a home base.

I found myself revisiting YouTube. I decided I could mix up three types of content. First, the audio from my podcast episodes could be uploaded to the platform. Second, videos that I create for social media could also be placed on my channel. Third, YouTube offers a long-form video platform that could be used for content ranging from industry trends for multimedia, information about audio gear, and various categories of commentary along with whatever creative video stylings that happen to find my fancy.

As of April 2020 I now have an updated YouTube channel although it is still a work in progress.

Please, feel free to pay my YouTube channel a visit and subscribe if you wish.

The podcast itself will remain a strong focus of what I am doing and some great interviews are coming up. You can find the Billy Dees Podcast on almost any major podcast platform including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio.

Here is a recent video post from my channel. Has your content not been getting the traffic it normally gets since the Covid19 crisis? Here is why and don’t stop creating.

Capturing Good Conversation Long Distance

Jeanne Giddens
Jeanné Giddens

This installment of our Twitter interviews is with Jeanné Giddens, otherwise known as @TuneTalks to her Twitter followers. Jeanné is a talented song writer, voiceover artist, and host.

As an old school radio and audio recording guy, I have always felt the best way to record an interview is with the guest in the recording studio. The benefits of this are obvious. You can interact with your guest one on one and have complete control of the recording. However, there are times when this is just not practical. For example, in this case Jeanné is based in Florida and I am in Ohio.

Recording options in these types of cases vary and a lot depends on the guest. Many interview subjects do not have any audio gear. Others have busy schedules promoting their work and do not have the patience to be walked through a technical process of some kind. In these cases phone signals may be the most expedient choice and other times maybe a VOIP service will work just fine at getting the job done.

With Jeanné, however, there were better options available. She is in the audio production business and has good tools at her disposal. So, we decided to use Zencastr for this interview. In simple terms this type of technology does not record “over” the internet per say. Both subjects are recorded locally and then those two audio tracks are combined in post.

The results are terrific but there are also other important steps to take.

For one, use the most dependable connections with your gear. I would avoid using WiFi with your computer or using any type of wireless microphone or headset. Also, close all of the programs on your computer.

Let me throw in some information about microphones. There is a lot of confusion about USB microphones in particular.

There are basically four types of microphones in terms of how they capture sound; dynamic, condenser, ribbon, and contact. There are variations of each but those are the basic groups.

Many of the widely popular USB microphones are condenser microphones. I have heard them referred to as “digital” microphones and that term is as overused as “pro” is in the audio and video equipment industry. The key difference between a USB condenser microphone and a standalone XLR condenser is that the USB microphone has a USB interface built into it. Combination units in general are designed to hit a price point and as plug and play devices for their ease of use.

I have used USB microphones to have my clients record audio into their PowerPoint presentations. They are also good for gaming, YouTube, and for basic podcasting. I would stop short, however, of considering any USB microphone truly a professional’s first choice.

I have been in many radio stations, media production studios in advertising agencies, and music recording studios. I have never run across a USB microphone being used as a primary recording tool in any of these applications. An entry level pro audio interface alone costs more than the average USB microphone. Many voiceover agencies will ask what microphone that you are using and if the answer is a USB microphone that might be a missing check mark on your credentials list.

The sky is the limit in terms of what you can pay for pro audio gear but there are cost effective options. Yes, separates do cost more but come with some practical benefits in addition to better quality, namely interchangeability. That professional XLR microphone that you bought for your podcast will plug into a USB interface, a digital recorder, a mixing board and so on. You can also upgrade your interface or microphone without replacing both or purchase more microphones to use with the same interface.

For the interview with Jeanné I used a (XLR) Golden Age D2 dynamic microphone. I happen to like dynamic microphones for voiceovers but that is largely my preference. My favorite is probably the (XLR) Shure SM7B and my runner up would be the (XLR) Electro-Voice RE20. Jeanné used her (XLR) RODE NT1 which is a condenser microphone. Both the Golden Age D2 and the RODE NT1 are not “cheap” when compared to most USB microphones, however, in the professional ranks these microphones are extremely cost effective and for anyone considering getting started doing voice work these are good choices. For this particular interview we both also used Focusrite interfaces.

To sample the sound quality captured with these microphones and Zencastr here is an excerpt. Notice how it sounds almost as if both of us were in the same studio.

For your convenience the entire interview is available at the bottom of this post. The Billy Dees Podcast is also available on your favorite podcasting service including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio.

You can follow Jeanné on Twitter at @TuneTalks and me at @BillyDees.

People on Twitter by Billy Dees Interview with @TuneTalks Song Writer and Creative

Social Security Scam Alert!

Cathy Social Security 16x9“PLEASE, DO NOT RESPOND IN ANYWAY TO A CALL THAT SAYS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS SUSPENDED AND YOU MUST CALL BACK. JUST DON’T DO IT.”

Those are the words of advice from Cathy Sikorski. Moreover, it is information that we should all work together to spread the word about. It is not common knowledge as much as it may seem. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones whose alertness may not be what it once was during their younger days.

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Cathy Sikorski

These calls are fully capable of being relentless. In numerous cases after repeated calls, the numbers have been blocked only to be followed by more calls with the same message from new numbers.

For more detailed information about this current wave of calls I would like to invite you to listen to Cathy during a recent phone interview. The interview also covers other various fraudulent tactics to be aware of online as well as by telephone. You can find more information about Cathy at CathySikorski.com and follow her on Twitter @cathy_sikorski.

We also would like to thank Donna Cavanagh from Corner Office Books and HumorOutcasts.com for her support regarding this issue.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexa device under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

Cathy Sikorski with Billy Dees – Social Security Scam Alert

Welcome to My Tik Tok Don’t Scroll Up Turn the Heart Red!

The Next Big Thing_ Maybe...It’s pretty near impossible these days to do any kind of marketing without being aware of social media platforms. One of the new social media apps that keeps coming up more and more in conversation is TikTok.

For me, doing social media marketing is very much akin to being a politician. I always keep my options open. For this reason I seldom dismiss a new platform out of hand. The bright and shiny object off in the distance today can morph into the way things are done a year from now.

“TikTok is just for kids.” Okay.

Remember when Facebook was just for juvenile college students? Instagram was what your kids were playing with in the backseat? Before we knew it our competition had thousands of followers on their business pages and we were fumbling with how to set up our pages to catch up.

I have noticed this pattern of progression for most successful social media platforms. They generally start with kids as the primary members. Then they are followed by adults, many of whom were introduced to the platform by their children. That brings in more adults. As the population of users grow, influencers on the platform begin to emerge. Then, brands and advertisers follow.

During the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded (non-game) app in the Apple store globally reaching 45.8 million downloads. It is estimated that TikTok currently has over 500 million active users worldwide, and other data trackers put that number considerably higher.

I have spent some time experimenting with the app as a user. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a TikTok pro but this is what I’ve learned. TikTok is a video sharing app. If you use the app you can record for 15 seconds or upload your videos up to a minute long. The app itself has some nice special effects for video and graphics that are easy to incorporate into your content. If you amass a thousand followers this enables you to live-stream.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. They purchased Musical.ly during November 2017 and merged the two platforms internationally in 2018. TikTok has many of its forerunner’s traits, including many dance and lip-syncing videos.  At this time, by my estimation, this musically driven content has a dominance on the platform. A popular feature seems to be “duet,” which allows a user to lip-sync along with another user’s video.

However, influencers and brands are arriving. There are influencers well into middle-age and beyond on the app giving tips on everything from buying cars to how to stay motivated at life.

I don’t know if this shiny object will brighten or fade away, but TikToK is off to a fantastic start. I would stop short of saying that I would make TikTok a priority at this time but if you create content for other platforms anyway why not repurpose it for TikTok as well?

If you decide to do so you may wish to follow these three suggestions:

  • First, I would not follow or follow back accounts that do not have content or are listed as private.
  • Second, choose several hashtag subjects or genres of content to search. Interact with and like the content that interests you from the results of your search. Choose several dozen accounts that are creating good content and follow them.
  • Third, create good content of your own and utilize the proper hashtags when posting it. Be sure to acknowledge all of the positive feedback that you get. My general rule of thumb is to not engage negative comments on any platform.

If you care to say hello on TikTok you can find me at @billydees01

Happy social media marketing to you!

Radio Days Past and Present

Vector realistic isolated neon sign of Radio logo with headset for decoration and covering on the wall background. Concept of on air, broadcasting and dj.Once upon a time in what seems a world long ago, a young handsome man with agency credentials, (I’ll give you a “maybe” on the “handsome,”) drove around to radio stations delivering well produced and magnificent  radio commercials on ½ track reels which would then be transferred to cart machine at the station. There was a formula that clients could use at the time in order to gauge the effectiveness of the advertising based upon the response. Most of the time it was deemed effective at least to some degree.

Ahh, the good ol’ days!

Flash forward about 30 years and I am now extremely active in the online digital media biosphere. I am still active in and around radio as well. The terrestrial broadcast world is tremendously viable today although the winds blow around in it a bit differently.

Given that I have a broad mix of backgrounds I feel as though I am distinctively capable of being objective as I analyze how the online media world markets itself, along with how the radio and traditional advertising market currently works both with and against the forces of the internet.

For all of the high-talk we have in our society against bias and stereotyping it is almost a guarantee that if you listen to someone analyze the opposite ends of these two mediums they will mention age as a limiting factor.

Social media “gurus” will often claim that recommending print or radio advertising to your boss might work well if you work for a bunch of “60 year-olds who haven’t transitioned yet.”

That’s a sign of the times, isn’t it? We don’t adapt to the market place but we do “transition.” It kind of reminds me of the movie “Logan’s Run” wherein when you turned 30 you had to “renew.”

By contrast radio and broadcast “experts” will often claim that radio has been around a long time and is still one of the most used forms of media. Therefore, unless your “millennial boss” wants you to play around on social media all day you better choose real advertising.

So, what is the deal? What’s happening with advertising and marketing these days in the online and traditional media realms?

Headphones and Microphone

Radio is still alive and well. However, the way you may utilize it has changed. The days of throwing a spot on the radio and just waiting for results are likely gone unless you are lucky. You will have to get your hands dirty by cultivating an online presence. This means doing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you.

The best case scenario would be to find an advertising/marketing professional who represents both the online marketing and radio industries with whom you can coordinate a comprehensive game plan.

Content MarketingPeople search for information now regarding the goods and services that they might be interested in. This is why your online content marketing strategy is so important. In a nutshell, whether it’s your website, social media or web videos you want to be sure that when people find the information that they are searching for that information, in turn, leads them to you.

Radio advertising will expose your name to people who may not be seeking information about your services at that moment. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing because that will serve two functions. For one, if your advertisement sparks someone’s interest they will Google you or search you out via social media. Second, even though many listeners will not have an active interest in your business at a given moment, when the day comes that they happen to be online researching the market place they will recognize your name when they find you. Familiarity is extremely important regarding the buyer’s choices.

One of the first steps in this process that I recommend to people is to identify and define the personality of your business. Just like shaking someone’s hand and getting a first impression, what is the impact that your business has on a listener of your advertising or when someone finds you online? Are you a price leader? Are you a value leader? Are you a specialized services leader? What aspects of your business do you always want to make an impression with regarding all of your clients? If you can’t answer any of these questions with simple answers then that is a problem because you can bet no one else can either.

Second, have a strong online presence. Make sure your website is up to date. Choose several social media platforms that work well for you and maintain them as well. Utilize short and bright videos across your online platforms along with clear and well-taken pictures. Research the viability of podcasts and other media that may serve you well online.

Headphones Podcast On-AirThird, if you choose to advertise on the radio make sure that the identity that you are forming for your business grabs the listener. I would likely start with short ads that stress your name and the core essence of your business identity. Avoid details in your radio spots such as specials, phone numbers, and locations. These details will not be retained by the listener. Just shake their hand firmly and make an impression. If you do that they will find you on their smartphone.

Advertise and market with associates who understand and appreciate all the forms of media available in these complex times. Be consistent. Know who you are as a business. Get out there and firmly shake some hands.