How to choose a topic for your podcast?

Recording the Construction Industry Podcast. Credit: Daubian Oliveira

If you believe that starting a podcast might be a good move for you and/or your company, you’re in good company. Many companies and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the fact that a good podcast can create loyal audiences and a successful platform for your brand and business.

Many people want to start a show but don’t know where to start.

In my opinion, if you are considering starting a podcast, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is:

What in the world will I talk about?

To try and answer this question, I will walk you through my thought process as I decided to launch my award-winning Construction Industry Podcast back in August of 2011.

The first thing to consider is to have a podcast on a topic in which you have some knowledge. In other words, why not start a podcast talking about something you know deeply about?

That approach works for a wide variety of circumstances – perhaps even in most cases.  For example, my friend Dustin Harzler has a great podcast in which he shares his knowledge on the blogging platform WordPress.  He has thousands of attentive listeners who want to learn more about WordPress.  Another example is my other friend Cliff Ravenscraft, who is an authority when it comes to podcasting.  Cliff has a ridiculously popular podcast about podcasting.

In my case, this approach didn’t really work.

In my company, in my 9-5 job, I am responsible for the design and installation of monitoring systems for construction projects.  We are experts in construction cameras, time-lapse video creation, and all the equipment that goes along with it.

The problem is, if I had created a show around that topic, the only people interested in learning more about that would be my competitors.  I would not be reaching my target market with a show about construction cameras.  Dustin and Cliff, on the other hand, want to reach people who are interested in WordPress and podcasting, so talking about their expertise works really well for them.

So my thought was: whose eyes did I want on my brand?  What is my target market interested in?

The answer to that question almost automatically tells you what kind of show you should produce.

Remontech (my company) serves the construction owner, the entity that is sponsoring the project.  Our clients are usually in the construction sector, but not are not necessarily construction professionals.  They are project managers, directors, business people who are dealing with construction and trying to learn more about the industry.  Sometimes these individuals may feel a little inadequate, because the are constantly dealing with contractors, architects, subcontractors, who have their own jargon.  It’s easy to feel like an outsider sometimes.

So I decided to create a show for them.  In the Construction Industry Podcast, I interview experts in the construction sector and cover topics which are construction-related.  But as I do that, I keep it accessible for those who are trying to learn more about the construction sector.

In short, you have two approaches when starting a podcast for your business:

  1. If your knowledge is what your target market is interested in, have a show about that.  You will be able to shine as an expert and create confidence in your audience that you are the man/woman for the job.
  2. If it is NOT your knowledge that will reach your target market, think about what it is they are interested in and provide that content to them.

Do you have a podcast?  What is it about and how did you come up with the idea?  I’d love to know.


I’m speaking at New Media Expo 2013!

I’m absolutely thrilled to let you know that I’ll be a speaker at the upcoming New Media Expo (NMX) conference in Las Vegas.

NMX is the largest, most prestigious conference and trade show for the blogging, podcasting, and WebTV industry.  Attendees from around to world will flock to Las Vegas this January to learn, share, and network with the best that the new media world has to offer.

Because of my success with the Construction Industry Podcast, I will be sharing my experience and tips on how to be a podcaster in a podcast-less niche.  The title of my session is

“The benefits of being the first to podcast within your niche.”

Click here for my bio at the NMX website.

Speaking at NMX is a great privilege and I cannot wait to share my perspective and what has worked for me as a podcaster.

If you are in Las Vegas or coming to the conference, let me know!



Footage from the drive to Labrador City

For many reasons, my last trip to visit my client in Labrador City had to be by car.

It is a very long drive (around 2,200km each way).

A large part of it, mostly between Baie Comeau, Quebec, and Labrador City, Newfoundland is on a dirt road.  You basically get on this road in Baie Comeau and drive north for a whole day.

The enldess road to Labrador City from Baie-Comeau, Quebec.

Around the mid-point, there is a little rest stop where you can get gas and a snack. I stopped there literally seconds after getting my windshield smashed by a rock that flew from the back of a truck.  There I met Alan and a group of bikers who were taking a similar trip, but by motorcycle.  Crazy, I know.

The cool thing is that Alan had a camera attached to his helmet, so I had to talk to him.  He told me he was on a round trip to Massachusetts, and I asked if he would be posting that video somewhere.  He said yes and we exchanged business cards.  I didn’t think I’d hear from him again, but to my surprise, Alan sent me an email with a link a few weeks later.

Here’s the link to the video that Alan’s camera captured.  If you’ve ever driven on that road, you’ll enjoy it!


Redesigning the website!

Hello all! I’ve recently decided to spend some more time blogging.

In order to create more inspiration, I decided to play around with the design of the site.

I’d love your feedback as I move forward.  What do you think so far?


Gotta love the Internet: USS Edson

I’m about to go to bed here in my hotel room in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.  It was a long day driving from London, Ontario, but I had to share this cool little story before going to sleep.


Why and How I use Buffer

We all want to engage our friends, our audience, our clients, our tribes.

Much like a cocktail party, we want to talk to people, make new friends, network, share useful information so interaction with you is seen as beneficial and people will come back for more.

Twitter is a great tool for achieving this engagement.  It is everywhere, millions of people are on it, including a lot of the people you want to interact with.  Besides being a tool for carrying conversations, I find it is a great way to provide information I come across during the day.  I get email messages that are worth sharing, I have insights that I want to convey to other people, and I subscribe to a myriad of RSS feeds that provide me with lots of information worth sharing.  Twitter provides a great way to easily share all of this with my relationships.

I find, however, that it is a bit hard to take full advantage of Twitter based on my daily workflow and schedule.  That’s where today’s tip, Buffer, comes in handy.


Goodbye my kitty.

I was never a cat person.

Cats seemed distant, arrogant, egocentric, aloof.  They get sick on your carpet, eat your unattended food, and protest when their bathrooms are not cleaned on a regular basis. Differently than bratty human guests, we can’t ask cats to help with the chores, pay rent, pay for damages, or kick them out. Cats were all demand and no delivery. I always thought I’d never bring such a jerk into my house.

Life had other plans for me, however.  When I married Amy, I inherited Casey, her 9-year-old tabby.  Being slightly allergic to cats and slightly annoyed for having to attend to one, I immediately proceeded to impose new rules for him in my household. There would be no Casey in my bedroom, no Casey on the couch.  Casey would not eat from the dinner table, and behaviours such as pawing on doors, scratching the furniture, and howling outside my door at 4 in the morning were to be strongly discouraged.


I Saw Him Standing There

Last night I fulfilled a childhood dream.  I drove 120 miles to the Motor City to watch Sir Paul McCartney in Concert.


Google+ Solves Yet Another Problem

Multilingual people like me are usual in a tight spot on Facebook.  When large percentages of your list of “friends” speak different languages, how do you choose what language you will use when posting something?

Facebook offers no solution to this conundrum.

Google+, with its “circles,” allows you to organize your contacts in different groups.  When making a post, you can choose which “circles” you want to share it with.  In fact, you can even select the audience down to a single individual.

What are your first thoughts on Google+?