We had an idea, and we had a company, and we had recently secured our Series A funding, so why not re-start our podcast? When Faith and Abbey started down this path halfway through the year, they had no idea how many twists, turns, and teachable moments were in store for them. In the final episode of season two, they sit down to talk about how it all went, and what they’re looking forward to in the next season.
It’s like we read each other’s minds with the little turtleneck situation this morning.
It’s supposed to like…it’s supposed to rain, and be kind of cold, and turn into snow. And so, I have this like, super slouchy, long sweater dress and leggings on. I feel so cozy.
I just got…I feel like I’ve officially become aware of fashion, like 2023 Gen Z fashion. And, I got a pair of like yoga, like white yoga pants, but like actual yoga pants. Like, from the early aughts when we invented yoga pants. Our generation.
Exactly. And now Gen Z is calling them flared leggings, which I take offense to.
Like, they’re yoga pants.
They’re yoga pants. We invented them. Yes. Put some respect on it. You know.
<Laugh>. Put the “T” on the end of that, please.
<Laugh>. This is gonna be kind of a hilarious recording, because while we’re talking, and I’m in my little like, peaceful corner, my little oasis, Dan is over here like, just blowing up people’s lives. We got scammed by like, a network of scam contractors. Yeah. It’s crazy. I mean, network is maybe a…it’s definitely a team. It’s like, at least two guys. But–
And, this is within the context of like, the house remodel you’re doing?
Thankfully it’s not the main house. Back in April, which is now almost a year ago, I hired this guy to replace the windows in the shed, and it’s been crazy. We can probably write a blog post about <laugh> all that’s happened. But–
This is why we need…(Dan: On a mission.) (Faith: <Laugh>.) <Laugh>. This is why we need the Gun.io for contractors.
Yes. (Abbey: <Laugh>.) Yes. Yes, absolutely. Because, somebody else, surely, has been scammed by these people, and I would’ve seen that on their Gun.io for contractors. Actually, they just wouldn’t be on the platform. (Abbey: Right.) They wouldn’t have been accepted.
Yeah, ‘cause turns out one of them’s on probation. We got in touch with one of them, and we’re like, you know, we need so and so’s information, ‘cause he’s the one who like, actually stole the money, and he is like, “Well, I don’t have it. I don’t have his address. I don’t know how you’re gonna find him.” And then he mentioned that that guy’s on probation, and I’m like, the whole point of probation is like, they know where you are.
You’re easily locatable.
You are very easily locatable. So–
You have to check in with somebody frequently. That used to be…that was a job of mine in a former life.
No way. Abbey, you’ve had so many jobs. That’s unbelievable.
It was like, my internship in the…my first job right outta college was working for the Boulder County Courts.
Oh my god. So, you know.
And then, I realized how boring court is and I was like, I don’t wanna do this anymore.
Yeah. I feel like anybody who spends any amount of time like, in criminal courts would hear this case and be like, whatever. Like, big deal. (Abbey: Yeah.) But, to me, it’s shocking, because I’m such a like, “Assume the best. No one’s scamming you; chill out. Give people time.” And, now we’re a year in and I’m like, yeah, I think I actually got got. I think that’s what happened. <Laugh>.
I have like, a quiet morning. This is day two of my husband going to work for the first time since the end of April.
How is it?
Oh, it’s so quiet. So lovely. I’ve been used to having like, my…being home by myself and working from home by myself for so long that when he quit, and we moved, and he’s been doing all the remodel and stuff like that, you know, like it’s been fine, but it’s a weird adjustment. (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) So, when he is up and excited to go to work, I’m like–
“Have fun honey!” <Laugh>.
“I’ll come see you later!” <Laugh>.
That’s what I feel like now going to work in the office in the backyard, because I like, traipse back there. It’s so like, solitary and nice, and I have to come back into the main house, I don’t know like, every hour or so to like, go to the bathroom, fill up my water, whatever. But, it’s a quick like, “Hey, how you doing? Great. I’m going back to work.” It’s so nice.
Yeah, and I think the other thing that’s been great is this week we finished like, the seating area in the barn and hooked up the internet, so it works out there, so now he has, like…I went out there the other day, and he was working on the motorcycle, and then I came out later, and he’s like sitting on the couch watching motorcycle TV shows or something. It’s just like–
Oh, that’s so nice.
The evolution of our work from home situations over this year.
<Laugh>. I know. It’s incredible to me like, how much we can do with so little. Like, I know in a year, I’m gonna think back to how I’ve been living for the last six months and be like, “How did we do that?” You know? Like, my house is just covered in shit everywhere and it’s–
It’ll feel like a drop in the bucket.
Yeah. It’s like childbirth. (Abbey: <Laugh> I guess?) You think you forget. You forget how terrible it is. And then, you know, chances are I’ll sign up to do this shit again with the next house.
Well, while my house has been under construction and all of this shit has been going on with Faith HQ, we’ve also been creating and producing season two of the Frontier podcast. (Abbey: Yeah.) It feels crazy that it’s wrapped.
Yeah. I was kinda like, wondering, I don’t know, not wondering when the day would come that we were wrapped, but kind of like, it’s crazy to have built all this momentum with something that we just kind of were like, yeah, let’s run with it. Let’s do it. I think, because we had…because the podcast was like such a different iteration before, where it was kind of like, all right, let’s interview somebody. And you know, it wasn’t like, getting on a schedule doing it regularly, and just kind of like…to learn a lot more about everything we do here has been super cool.
It feels like a snapshot in time, that three years we’ll go back and listen and be like, oh my god, that is–
Can you believe it?
Wild, yeah. (Abbey: <Laugh>.) Yeah, how much things have changed and oh, remember when we closed your series, A, and all the conversations we had around that? It’s interesting that, you know, moving from something outward facing to something inward facing like this has, I think, in a lot of ways, expedited a lot of like, movement and change within the company, because we were looking so closely at kind of like, what’s happening now, retrospectives. Like, it’s like a built-in biweekly reflection time for me (Abbey: Totally.) and for Teja when he joins. And it’s like, the impacts of that, I think, have been real.
Yeah. I know that a lot of the people that we hire on, you’ve already met and had like, deeper, more meaningful conversations in terms of like how, what you learn about them when you’re interviewing and stuff like that. So, for me, it’s been really cool to get like, a more in-depth look at the people who are on the teams that aren’t marketing. ‘Cause it’s, you know, I think you said it really well in one of the episodes where you’re like, “I never feel like I’m the smartest person in the room.” (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) Which is a really cool place to be, because that means that everyone in the room is really smart. (Faith: Right.) Not just how smart people are, but how different and how involved people are in very different aspects of life. You know, like Donovan with his music career, and Ashley with making, well Ashley and her like, entire entrepreneurial journey, you know, Kate, with her love of Arsenal, and you know like, those kinds of things are so cool to learn, (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) and I don’t think that a lot of people get that opportunity to learn that much about their coworkers.
I feel like, very lucky that this is a thing that we get to do, and it’s like, part of our work week. (Abbey: Right.) <Laugh>, I was also thinking like, as we were logging on this morning that we, I don’t know, I’ve got so many like, personal projects. Like, I want to, you know, launch season two of my personal podcast project and like, all these different things that have just, kind of, been in the ether. But with those, like, I’m accountable to myself, and I feel like there’s a lot of stuff at work, too, that sometimes like, I’m accountable to myself. Like, it’s a big new project; there would be a lot of moving parts. It requires me to like, really sink my teeth into it, (Abbey: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) and because it’s just me and me, it’s very hard to like, actually get those things off the ground. But, with the podcast this season, I feel like it was collaborative from the jump. In retrospect, it’s such a huge project to be like, all right, we need to hire a podcast producer. Pretty much half of Abbey’s time needs to be spent like, scheduling, figuring out content. What are we gonna talk about? Why, how should that resonate with the audience? Like, it is a huge commitment and a huge project, and the fact that we just like, one day just like, turned the switch on, I think, is because there were so many, kind of like, cooks in the kitchen and people to whom we were all accountable, you know?
Yeah. It definitely made it a lot easier to like, dive in, (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) you know, when you were like, all right, we’re doing this, and we’re gonna do it twice a week, so let’s figure it out. And, I think you’re right. Like, that accountability is probably what made it happen. (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) I’ve talked about doing like, multiple podcasts with people, but (Faith: <Laugh>.) I’m the only one to be accountable for that, so it’s never happened. (Faith: Right.) I still don’t have one. Yeah <laugh>.
I also feel like hiring Bill, from the jump, was a huge. I mean like, obv, hey Bill, as you listen and edit this. (Abbey: Hey, Bill.) Like, obviously like, we made a great choice in like, choosing Bill, (Abbey: Yeah.) but also just like, choosing to bring on an experienced producer who would be owning editing. I think it did two things. Like one, it just like, codified our priority that this has to be like, really great content. (Abbey: Yes. Yeah.) Like, we’re not doing it just for shits. It’s like we’re actually creating something great. And two, it put another person in the mix to like, again, for us to be accountable to like, we can’t just like, hire Bill, and pay him a monthly retainer, and be like, “Sorry, this month got away from us. We have nothing for you to do.” (Abbey: Yeah.) <Laugh>.
“We didn’t get anything. Sorry.” And, I think to have like, that expertise, and like, somebody to bounce things off of. Especially, as I’m doing this for the first time, to be able to have somebody who has so much experience like, “Bill, am I doing this right? Or what am I doing wrong? How can I do this better?” I think, to also have somebody who’s like, helping level-set our expectations for ourselves (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) has been really useful, really good for us. I think that it’s like, the reason why I’m not as nervous about season three like, it feels like we got a lot of jitters out this season, (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) figured out a lot more things, and to have Bill in the mix has been great. Shout out to Bill.
Shout out to Bill. He’s such an important asset. Nobody steal him from us, but actually, you know what? He’s probably got time for like, a bunch of these every week. So, I was listening to an episode of Lenny’s Podcast, I think, last week or the week before, and they were talking about starting a podcast, and how it can be really daunting, because there are so many podcasts in the world. (Abbey: Yeah.) But, I’m gonna botch the math. We can put this in like, show notes or like, asterisks in the transcript somewhere, but like, a very, very, very small percentage of those are actually actively releasing new episodes. (Abbey: Yeah.) And then, an even smaller percentage of those release on a regular cadence. So, to be like, to be like one of the top, you know, some small percentage of podcasts, it’s just about like, consistency. Like, committing to a schedule and just like, doing it.
I feel like that’s so much of content in general, (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) you know. Like, the fact that we had, and this is not to like, toot my own horn or anything, but like, once I joined, and we started regularly putting out content on like, a cadence that was on the blog, on the podcast, doing more social, it’s like the organic traffic grew. (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) And, it’s not something that’s like, sexy to talk about, but it’s like consistency is key. I was looking up some stuff for like, season three, and there is a podcast that, well, that does like, “This Week in Tech History,” and I was like, okay, you know, I don’t wanna step on any toes, if that’s part of what we wanna talk about. They released like, three episodes six years ago, (Faith: Ever?) seven years ago. Yeah. <laugh>.
Oh my gosh.
I was like, ok, we’re fine.
Yeah, we’re fine. There was actually like, another Frontier podcast at one point, and I believe we brokered a deal with them, ‘cause they just like, weren’t releasing anymore. But, I think that’s maybe like, an important thing to open up a little bit, which is like, for folks in our shoes who are like, marketers at a company, and podcasting might be part of your like, ultimate roadmap, whether that’s this year or it’s just a small experiment you wanna run. I feel like we’ve seen some shit, and we can probably give those folks some decent insight. So, I mean, I’ll start. I think like, one best practice that made a big difference this year was in choosing the right recording software, which is what we’re using now. I feel like almost every platform, whether it’s like, a CRM, or it’s WordPress, or it’s Slack, whatever. Like, inevitably there’s gonna be a sentiment like, “Ugh, come on, ‘insert program name.’” Like, there’s gonna be some frustration, and it just becomes part of the company culture to be like, “Ugh, that program sucks, but we use it anyway,” (Abbey: <Laugh>.) and I feel like we’ve never really had that with Riverside. Like, I’ll speak for myself. (Abbey: Yeah.) I’ve been like, genuinely delighted with the recording experience in Riverside and the quality of output.
And, I think the feedback we’ve gotten from Bill is like, anything we’re worried about, he is like, “No, it’s fine. Riverside makes it easier for me.” Like, cool.
Yeah. I think like, the two things that make a huge difference in Riverside, the first is in the recording experience. It asks you, it basically like, prompts you to create really good raw audio, whether you’re the host or like, a random guest who has no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Like, (Abbey: Yeah.) when you go to log in, and it asks you if you’re using headphones, and if you’re not, it just like, automatically cancels out your echo, which like, you’re not gonna get in a Zoom recording. That’s just not what Zoom is made for.
Nope. I did one yesterday <laugh>.
<Laugh>. Yeah, right. Like, it’s a totally different experience. You have to, I think, to make a recording sound really good on Zoom, everybody has to understand like, how you’re supposed to set up your audio. (Abbey: Yeah.) And, the other thing about Riverside is it downloads locally while you’re recording. So, right now, like I can see, and then it uploads automatically, so I can see that I’m 99% uploaded. Abbey’s 56% uploaded. So her network is just a little bit weaker right now, (Abbey: <Laugh>. Apparently <inaudible>.) But it’ll– <laugh>. Whatever. But, it’ll like, automatically upload that. (Abbey: Yeah.) You know, like everything’s saved locally, and what makes that cool is like, we can, we’re never…it’s not like Zoom where what you’re consuming from the other person’s audio or video can get choppy if the network is bad. Riverside just automatically reduces the quality that you’re seeing from each other, but it downloads at a high quality, if that makes sense. So like, (Abbey: Yeah.) sometimes, you know, the person who I’m talking to, their video gets like, super pixely, but I’m never worried that the end product is gonna turn out shitty, you know? Yeah.
We’re over here proselytizing about Riverside. It’s so great, though.
<Laugh>. Sponsor us, Riverside! (Abbey: <Laugh>.) What else have we learned that folks can use to start their own branded podcast?
This is probably a sort of small thing, but like, getting on the practice of uploading everything the day before (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) so that like, I know every Tuesday and Thursday everything’s already out, everything’s already out that’s like, super important, and that, if you’re doing that consistently, then people, when they subscribe, know that like, when they get up on Tuesday morning, there’s a podcast episode for them to listen to. Same thing, you know, however you’re doing it, however often you’re doing it. Getting in that habit of releasing everything at the exact same time saves you, personally, a lot of headache. There have been a couple times where I was like, oh, it’s 11 o’clock, and I didn’t… (Faith: <Laugh>.) I’m gonna jump outta bed real quick <laugh>. (Faith: Yeah.) Yeah, I think that has been a really useful, kind of like, time saver, stress saver for me.
I’ve been surprised by how much we’ve had to talk about. Like, I did have a few moments before we launched, and I was like, is this just gonna be like, “Gun.io is awesome. Come use Gun.io?” But, I feel like the thing that saved us there was, so like, every time Abbey creates a new concept for a podcast, part of the planning process is to identify the takeaways that like, each segment of our target audience should walk away with. And, to get to that point, if you rewind a little bit, we had to identify who the people are that we’re talking to. Like, what’s true about them? What do they care about? What do they wanna learn more about? And so, all of our content was, kind of like, backwards planned from that pre-work. So, I think, doing that, if you’re starting a branded podcast, start with identifying like, who you’re trying to talk to, what’s important to them, and that’ll inform your content calendar. And, Abbey uses it to inform the outlines that we touch on, right? Like, once you figure out, okay, so here’s the topic, this is what this person should walk away with, and this is what this person should walk away with, then we can, kinda, structure the conversation from that, and I think that’s been really helpful.
Especially, because, I think, that there’s also a tendency for branded podcasts to become like, a sales tool.
And, not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, but that’s not, you know, like, we want this to be a good resource for people to learn from, and (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) like, all of our ethos for marketing, it’s like, people see through bullshit pretty quickly. I’m proud of the job that we’ve done to like, share what our company is doing without it feeling like this is a sales pitch. (Faith: Right.) But like, this is a resource. We wanna provide something useful to our audience, whether it’s developers or clients who are looking to hire, and going into it with that mindset, I think, has made people more willing to listen. (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) Hopefully. I don’t know, I haven’t…
<Laugh> Well, I think like, the nature of what we do is like, it’s, it’s pretty emotional. Like, hiring, I think, is a really emotional thing on both sides, (Abbey: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) and it’s very hard to know if you’re doing it well, whether you’re hiring somebody, or looking for a job. (Abbey: Yeah.) And so, there’s a huge need for just like, honest conversations around like, what people have learned, best practices. We see like, dozens of these interactions, these like, hiring interactions happen daily. (Abbey: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) So, it’s been cool. It’s been cool to just like, identify that need and make content around it. But, I think the other thing about our business, specifically, is like, it’s inherently like a personal thing. Like, hiring is a personal thing and you wanna (Abbey: Yeah.) feel like you’re part of like, a network, and community, and represented by people who you resonate with. And so, really the value of this podcast is like what I said, which is like, sharing valuable content for people when they’re kind of in that like, tricky emotional state, but also just showing who’s behind the screen here at Gun, you know?
Because, you know, we are so like, human-first, (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) and there are so many people behind the scenes of that. Because, if you think about it, like, if you’re a developer, you really only talk to like our TTAs and our DevRel team. (Faith: Right.) If you’re a client, you really only talk to like, the sales team or our CSMs. You know, like (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) to be able to see that there are other people behind it is something like, I’ve always enjoyed about learning more about companies. Like, when you go onto “About” pages and you have like, bios about people and what they do outside of work like, I always find that really interesting, because that human element, that human connection is what everybody wants, and if you can make that with a brand or a company, that’s how you get people to trust you.
I feel like, I mean, this is getting back into just like, kind of, technical starting a podcast, but the other thing we won by bringing Bill on as a producer was somebody who could create really great videos to then upload to YouTube. (Abbey: Yeah.) And, that was something that we had tried in the past, but it just wasn’t…it was kind of like an afterthought, and so there wasn’t a lot of thought put into like, the quality there. But, I think if you’re creating a branded podcast, thinking about platform is really important. Thinking about like, where your ideal audience is hanging out, and for us like, that tends to be YouTube. (Abbey: Yeah.) And we’ve seen some success there, so I definitely recommend at least exploring it and seeing if it’s something that would be viable for you if you’re starting a branded podcast.
And, I think that there’s still like, so much I have to learn about YouTube. (Faith: <Laugh>. Me too.) Yeah. Even, obviously consistency is something that helps people see what you’re putting on there, but like, there’s a whole other world of tags and linking and, you know. I think that there’s, even though we already learned a lot with this season, there’s still so much room to grow. So many more takeaways that we can have for next time.
Well, speaking of next time, what can people expect from season three, which is coming very soon?
Coming very soon. We start recording next week.
Oh my god!
So season two, we’re still gonna be doing two episodes a week. One episode per week will be with somebody who is external to the company. I think that we really wanna start exploring how other late-stage startups are doing, what they’re doing, how what they’re doing is contributing to the greater good, or how they’re solving a problem in a unique way. We’re far from the only company that’s doing things (Faith: Yeah.) creatively. So, to be able to see how other people are doing that and share that information, I think, is super exciting. And then, the other half of that, as I kind of already mentioned, will be internal episodes talking about like, this week in tech history, we do the weekly or every Friday, everybody shares what they learned. So, we got a lot of good feedback from the “101 Things We Learned This Year” post, (Faith: Yeah.) and so, kind of, on the heels of like, we love learning here, let’s talk about other things that are happening and how they’re still relevant to the tech space. I finished the initial list of things for through like, the beginning of April.
And we started like, nerding out, and there’s some like, fun stuff in there, you know, like the anniversary of Al Gore’s “I invented the internet” speech. (Faith: <Laugh>.) <Laugh>, what else is there? The first time the FBI got a warrant to search a computer.
Oh my god. I feel like this is gonna make me such a smarter person. Like, (Abbey: <Laugh>.) I’m very excited to do the prep work for this, and like, yeah. Ask questions.
And I’m excited to like…so I’ll be sending you and the other guests like, a writeup. So, for me to get to do like, a mini history project every week?
Oh, it’s gonna be awesome.
Yay! Okay. Well, I can’t wait. I think it’s gonna be really fun this year. I feel like when I just do a quick like, vibe check on Twitter once a day, it feels like folks in tech are kind of like, “What’s happening?” (Abbey: <Laugh>.) you know, (Abbey: Yeah.) a little on the edge of a menty-b. So, I am excited to talk to, (Abbey: <Laugh>. A menty-b.) <laugh> I’m excited to like, talk to folks in like, I don’t know, I just don’t think, no matter how bad we think it’s gonna be, it’s not gonna be that bad. Like, until the apocalypse I, there’s nothing we can’t get through. And so, I’m just excited to bring folks back down to earth once a week and kind of show like, here’s a company just like yours. Here’s something they might be struggling with, just so you know, you’re not alone. And here’s like, a really kind of hopeful, cool story about what they’re working on (Abbey: Yeah.) or a success they’ve had. So like, hang in there, team. We’re gonna make it through <laugh>.
Because, the <inaudible> in the news always focus on like, the biggest, most like sensational thing, and in tech, there are a lot of big, shitty, sensational things happening. (Faith: Yes. Yeah.) And so, it’s easy to lose sight of like, all of the really cool things that are happening on a smaller scale. All of these communities that people are creating, the problems that people are solving, to kind of bring more of a focus and shine light on that instead of like, another 12% of somebody’s huge ass workforce just got laid off.
Right. <Laugh>. (Abbey: <Laugh>.) Well, Abbey, I am very excited. It’s gonna be an excellent season three, but I’m glad we could give season two the prep she deserves. And, (Abbey: Yeah.) I hope folks listening who are thinking about, whether it’s starting a podcast or trying something new with their content, feel empowered to do that based on our very clear beginnerness, (Abbey: <Laugh>.) and the fact that we successfully did it. So…
Yeah. (Faith: Awesome.) I’d also like to, I’d like to give you a shout out (Faith: Eh!) for your multiple mentions of Welcome to Wrexham. I finally started it <laugh>.
<Laugh>. Oh, good! Do you like it?
I was like, Faith talks about this a lot. I should watch it.
Yeah. <Laugh>. (Abbey: I do like it.) I’m a soccer girl now. Football girl, whatever. I enjoy it. There’s something about…there’s something about it. I see what everybody’s talking about, so I’m glad you started the show. It’s a good one. All right, Abbey, I’ll talk to you soon.
It’s been a killer season.
Thanks for listening to The Frontier podcast, powered by Gun.io. We drop two episodes per week, so if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe on your platform of choice, and come hang out with us again next week, and bring all your internet friends. If you have questions or recommendations, just shoot us a Twitter DM @thefrontierpod, and we’ll see you next week.