How to Get Started With Podcasting ~ Saswat Kumar Sahu

As a CBC creator, there are many ways to build your audience online, including… podcasting! That's why I interviewed Saswat — co-founder of Audio Lab, a CBC on podcasting — to learn how to get started with podcasting.

We Covered
  • How Saswat became interested in starting his podcast (01:18)
  • Saswat’s biggest roadblock when starting his podcast (03:15)
  • Why podcasting is a particularly good channel for CBC creators (05:40)
  • Considerations for choosing the style of your show (solo, interview, or co-host) (11:16)
  • Why you should consider packaging your podcast in seasons (12:48)
  • How to put yourself out there and record your first episode even when it causes you anxiety (16:48)
  • How to build a listenership for your podcast (22:53)
  • Final questions (27:42)
Step By Step
  1. As a CBC creator, you may already know your niche. If not, research, research, research to uncover a niche that is being underserved and that would appreciate listening to your podcast
  2. Choose the style of your show: solo, interview, co-host
  3. Decide whether you want to package your podcast into seasons
  4. Put yourself out there, and record your first episodes using recording software like and an editing software like Descript
  5. Build your listenership by reaching out to your target audience individually, make friends, and ask for a listen.
Full Transcript

[00:00:13] Jonathan: Ahoy, captain! Welcome to this super actionable podcast made for cohort-based course creators. I'm your host, Jonathan Woodruff. As a cohort-based course creator, I believe that you are riding the wave of a big trend that I think is here to stay. And what's also a big trend that I've watched grow big time over the years is… podcasting. 

And if like me, you want to grow your audience with podcasting, then like me, you might want to learn how to do that from a fellow cohort-based course creator. That's why my guest today is Saswat, the creator of audio lab, a cohort-based course that walks you through the podcasting process all the way from ground zero to launching your podcast.

What’s up, Saswat?

[00:01:08] Saswat: Hey, Jonathan, it's, uh, an honor and privilege to actually speak to you. I mean, it's late at my end, but I'm absolutely super excited to speak to you and talk to your listeners as well.

[00:01:18] Jonathan: Well, I'm, I'm super duper excited for this. And I wasn’t gonna tell my listeners, but secretly I'm really selfish on this episode because I'm just starting out my podcast, and I'm really eager to learn, from you, how, how, how this whole thing works. And, I'm sure they're excited too. So, so let's, let's dig in and tell me about your experience with podcasting.

Where did it all begin?

[00:01:41] Saswat: Sure. So I started my podcast last year. It was the pandemic year. I was just boxed in my apartment, and I realized that, you know, there's a mega trend going on in the outer digital ecosystem. Right? in the month of May, June, you would have seen huge investments from the biggies like Spotify and similar companies.

And I realized that I had always been an avid podcast listener. So how do I, um, start my first podcast? So the thought came sometime in the month of March, April, or May, but it took me almost like five, six months to start my first episode of my podcast, and the reasons were multifold. I realized that I did not want to start a podcast which was of low value.

It had to be something really super niche. It had to be something really concrete and talking to some of the best minds and best thought leaders in my ecosystem. And after doing a lot of a drill down on the nuances of the podcast game, I really mastered it and then launched my podcast. So last December I launched my first episode and it's about SaaS.

It is like a software as a service and yeah, I'm very big on SaaS for the next 10 years it feels, if you just Google search, luckily my podcast might show up in the first 10 podcasts.

[00:02:55] Jonathan: Yeah, that's big time. That's big time. So, a lot there. So it took you, you said six months to go from ideation to launching your first episode?

[00:03:04] Saswat: Absolutely. Yes,

[00:03:06] Jonathan: You have a cohort-based course that teaches people to go from zero to launch in what time-frame?

[00:03:12] Saswat: It's almost five, six months, five, six weeks.

[00:03:15] Jonathan: So instead of six months, it takes six weeks to go through that, to launch your podcast. So that's, that's really cool that you've kind of figured out a way to accelerate that for people and, and get them going with it. What was, what, what would you say was the biggest roadblock for you from ideation to launching that first episode?

[00:03:32] Saswat: So, podcasting as a listener would feel, it feels, very easy to, you know, start off, but it's very difficult to maintain. So you just have a, you know,, Squadcast, or a Zoom platform and you record a bunch of conversations. And of course the barrier to entry in 2020 has really decreased. So, anyone can start a podcast.

You can get into any of the platforms, whether it's anchor or any of the other platforms available in the internet. But the problem is the rhythm and the narrative that you want to set. And season one, whether you want to start off at like 5 episodes or 10 episodes, maybe 24 episodes if you are a Friends fan, then it's very difficult to actually set the rhythm and the narrative forward.

What happens is that people have pod fades, which means that they get de-motivated after a bunch of episodes. And secondly, when you don’t see a lot of listens in your first five, 10 episodes.
And trust me, it really takes a lot of time to get the number of audience that you're vying for. So if you don’t get those listeners early on, you get a little bit de-motivated.

And the third part is that if you do not have a very strong intrinsic motivation for your podcast and you don't have a structure around it, you really lack as to why you are starting a podcast. And that's the reason it really takes a lot of your time. But yeah, last year I learnt a lot of the craft by myself. I joined a cohort-based course myself.

I joined it. There are a bunch of cohort-based courses. There's like Reforge, there's On-Deck. So, I was an On-Deck podcasting fellow. I met another 100+ podcasters from different parts of the world. We learned the craft of podcasting together from the month of February to April. And then I completed my season one by the month June, 2021. And after June, I realized that, Hey, now I have learned the craft. How do I actually teach this particular craft that I've took almost like eight, nine months? And that was when it really struck me that why not collaborate with another, On-Deck, you know, fellow from my ecosystem.

And then we together joined our hands together. And then we launched our cohort-based course in Maven.

[00:05:40] Jonathan: So why is podcasting such a good thing for cohort-based course creators specifically, as opposed to let's say, you know, YouTube or some other kind of channel to build their audience?

Why podcasting?

[00:05:55] Saswat: Whoa, that's a, that's a deep question. Let me break it down into two parts. One. As for a newbie podcaster who wants to go for a cohort-based course, they want to join it and be a part of a community. And the second part is if you are a cohort-based course creator, why you should be also starting a podcast, right?

So the first one is interesting that... Hey, you have made up your mind that you want to join a particular community where you can actually double down on your podcasting efforts. If you have one podcast, you want to really, you know, excel in that particular craft or you haven’t made a podcast ever, then you want to start your podcast as well.

Usually podcast is a very community led game. Not a lot of people understand that you know, it's not a solo single player game. There's a lot of elements of, you know, people helping you out in the design, people helping you out by word of mouth, people trying to help you with getting the right set of people.

Like I was also referred to you by another of my Maven friend. Right. So, that’s a lot of effort. So you need a lot of people to actually support you in your journey. And you can get that support from a community and the CBC of a podcasting course really gives you that community. Imagine you join a particular cohort-based curriculum and there are already 5,200 people in that cohort. What'll happen is that they will at least listen to your podcast. They will try to, you know, support you because you're part of the community.

So CBC's have that network effect really baked in within the course as well. You will realize that once you are a part of a community, you are part of a podcasting community. You have that relationship with all the fellow podcasters or fellow thought leaders for the months, or maybe years to come. They can be in a bunch of platforms.

The platforms are immaterial, whether it is slack, whether it is Twitter, Twitter is also coming up with, uh, communities, right? I'm part of a Twitter podcasting community. So. The platforms are immaterial, but once you are in a community where your peers who are going towards the same goal, you are really bonding with them over a period of three weeks or four weeks.

And that stays on for the coming months or years ahead as well. And there's a concept of Dunbar ratio as well, where people talk about that you have close bonds when the community is around 100-150 people. So if you'll join a particular cohort where there is a cap on the maximum number of people, it's not beyond a hundred, you really forge strong bonds.

And that way that will really help you in your podcasting journey as well. So that's for the first part.
Now for the second part which is something that I've researched very deeply on. 2020 and 2021, you'll find a lot of CBC creators. There are a lot of professors who are really launching their own courses as well in CBC format, right?

They have PhDs and higher degrees, or they're really experts in their particular area as well. Now the funny part of CBC is that one, it needs to have a very strong community angle. And B… Now, of course, if you have community angle, then you need to have community managers and community experts who can actively drive that community engagement, which is by itself a very complex game.

And secondly, if you have actually started a CBC, you need to have an audio presence. Now, whether that audio presence is there in terms of having your own podcast or being a speaker on a bunch of podcasts. Or having a strong presence in some of the social audio platforms as well. That includes the likes of Clubhouse, Twitter spaces, or maybe tomorrow there will be Spotify green room as well.

So if you are trying to have an audio presence, the best part of an audio presence is that if your voice is already known to your prospects, people who will be coming and joining your particular cohort, they already have an invisible bond with you. Right? If you've heard someone's voice, you might relate to that particular person as well.

So eventually all the CBC creators would like to have a podcast of their own. When you have the podcast and it has, let's say maybe you know 21 episodes and beyond then you have a little bit of strength in distribution as well. You can launch your courses via your own medium in one of your episodes of your podcast itself.

And because you have the listenership intact. I'm not talking about the captain listeners, but there's a lot of network effect around it as well. The people will really listen to that episode. They will share it within their communities. And you'll find a lot of people signing up for your course as well.

That plays out really strongly when you're trying to build a CBC. So, I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow, maybe in 2022, you will find a lot of CBC creators, maybe professors who are trying to get onto the CBC bandwagon, creating their own podcast as well. At that point in time, they will also need a little bit of help from the podcasting community.

So whether you are starting a podcast as a newbie podcaster with no episodes in place, or you are a coach or an instructor who is planning to have a cohort-based curriculum, you definitely need to be there in this audio platform.

[00:11:16] Jonathan: So would you recommend, let's say, for this person to do a solo podcast or an interview style podcast, or what do you recommend for a beginner?

[00:11:25] Saswat: For a beginner I mean, of course it depends on the kind of show you want to go with, right? If you want to have a narrative show, then definitely it has to be solo. You are the narrator, you are the protagonist. You are the host and thereafter you are narrating a story about a little bit of cues from here and there.

But if you want to go for an interview or as we call it conversation-based podcast like we are having right now, it could be moderated by two hosts, so there would be one co-host and there would be another co-host as well. And, the second way of going ahead is maybe have a community wrapped around it as well. So some of the angles that I've looked into is that if you are in your season one, it's very difficult to do all the things like production, like editing, distribution all by yourself.

So preferably try to get a co-host if you are going for a conversation based or an interview based podcast. It gives you strength, it gives you a difference in voice and opinion. And it really brings another flavor to the conversation. People really come up with very unique, alternative mental models as well. Right?

And that really comes out in the questioning, that comes out in the conversations, that comes out even in your candid banter. If you are going on with season one, preferably try to get some help from a community member or from a co-host. That would be my personal opinion. I did the same for myself.

[00:12:48] Jonathan: And, uh, you mentioned the seasons. So, is this what you recommend for someone starting out is to do it in seasons rather than let's say just weekly and the whole podcast over, you know, however many, 200 episodes or whatever in just one big, long season. I guess why do you recommend seasons instead of just one big thing?

[00:13:09] Saswat: Let me flip the question back to you. Do you watch any of the Netflix seasons, or do you watch any of the movies per se? Any of your favorites? If you could name one or...

[00:13:18] Jonathan: Yeah, for sure. We just watched Squid Game on Netflix, for example, and Great British Baking Show… we're rocking that right now, too.

[00:13:27] Saswat: Okay. So, Squid Game had season one, which had roughly nine to 10 episodes. So, why do you think they started with season one instead of, you know, an entire movie of, let's say five, six hours... just curious.

[00:13:41] Jonathan: I mean, season one, it like pulls you in, and it has its own plot and its own conclusion. So, I imagine if they have a season two, it'd have to be an entirely different game or entirely different premise, like a different plot behind it.

[00:13:58] Saswat: Excellent. So I'll just take cues from your answer, right? Once you are a host of a particular podcast, you are a storyteller.... Now, if you are being a storyteller, you need to understand the story arc, and thereafter you build your narrative on top of it. If you’re trying to go ahead with a season, preferably understand that your story has to follow let's say, you know, Nancy Duarte’s Storytelling 101, or let's say you have Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey as well. So follow some of the story arcs. Those were followed in Squid Game as well. And, you would know that usually the season one sets the narrative in stone. It really gives you all the context. The first episode, or the second episode sets the hook very strongly. Like in Squid Game, they had the hook very clearly. People desperate for money were getting pulled from different parts of Korea. They were brought into an island, the color of the hostages, as well as the color of the people who were running the game were very unique, very distinct, and symbolic. Right? 

So, in your second episode or third episode in your season one, preferably have all these hooks and the symbols in place on top of which we can really build your episodes. Now, season one is very important for you because it really gives you a lot of feedback about your own voice, about your own narration, about your own story arc as well.

Once you start minting out episodes and go for distribution, you will realize that the audience will give you a lot of feedback. Once you get the feedback from your audience, you will need to do a little bit of iterations here and there as well. So season one is good for experimentation and doing a lot of iterations based on which you can actually do for season two.

Now, what happens if you will really launch your podcast in seasons, like season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, you will realize by the time you are at season four or five, the quality, the content, and the story arc is much more polished and of really high quality as it was in season one. But on the contrary, if you are just going for a long movie, you have like 200 episodes without any seasons, there is no clear-cut demarcation as well. And that would be sometimes confusing for an average listener. If you want to really up your game season after season, you'd like to really demarcate it very well in your programming as well. So those are my few thoughts.

[00:16:27] Jonathan: A thought came to my mind as you were speaking, you know, we say in podcasting that we have a show, we have a podcast show. And so it makes sense to treat it like Hollywood treats a show and like you said, they all have seasons. So, um, that really makes a lot of sense. Uh,

[00:16:47] Saswat: (laughs) Yeah,

[00:16:48] Jonathan: When I did my first interview, I was scared. I was nervous. So before, I don't know, I don't know. Maybe my listeners could hear it. Maybe not. But like before we started the interview, this was with Norman Tran. He had to calm me down. Like he can, he could tell that I was nervous. He could hear it in my voice.

And he had such a calming presence, and he, he made me feel a lot better, but, it's hard, right? Like it's hard to get yourself out there and to put that first episode out there. So how do you get past that mental roadblock?

[00:17:24] Saswat: That's a good question. And I can relate to that in so many angles as well. So first off, uh, Jonathan, you know, uh, that, that fear happens to everyone. So don't, don't worry on that. Okay. So whoever starts a podcast, even if they are in the season two, they'll still have a fear when they talk to a person, a new person in one of their episodes, just before you actually start your podcast... hit the record button. You always have a little bit of a tingle in your heart as well. Right? So that, that's a very normal thing to have. If you are a little bit strategic in your thought process, right?... You can actually preempt a lot of your, you know, fear or let's say anxiety around your podcast episode not performing so well. Now, how do you go about it?

The reason I took a few months before just hitting on the record button and launching my first episode was that I took a lot of feedback or pre-launch feedback from my community members as well. I spoke to almost like 50, 70 people. 

I told them that, “Hey, let's say I'm starting a SaaS podcast, there are already like five, I don't know, maybe 100+ SaaS podcasts currently in the market, why would you listen to me?” 
And they said, you know, many of the podcasts have, very specific, storytelling arc, right? Some of them are covering just stories from the valley ecosystem. Some of them are just covering a particular area within the SaaS spectrum as well.

And some of them are just for, let's say business or for marketing, or let's say just for investments per se. But then I realized that, you know, there are some gaps in quite a lot of those podcasts as well. And I really doubled down on those gaps. So when I started my season one, it was pretty clear that I'll have a very international narrative.

I'll have guests from all parts of the world, Canada, USA, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, India, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, you know, all parts. I even covered Russia. So, so the reason I had a very global guest is because I wanted to set the narrative very strongly in the season. That it's a very global inclusive podcast across the SaaS ecosystem. 

And then after closing my season one as well, I did a bunch of iterations. I spoke to another 100+ people. I went into Clubhouse. I took individual feedback from everyone that I was catching up for. 
You know, I was going into social rooms chatting on for like 15 minutes telling them, “Hey, this is my podcast, could you give me a little bit of feedback? What are the things that are the niceties, what are the things that you think could improve as well?” 

And I got very unique feedback. I kid you not Jonathan. You know, initially I thought I'll just go about with a very tech, VC centric podcast, but a lot of community feedback came in and I realized... I actually iterated on my podcast as well… I realized that, Hey, these people are asking for something more. 

They said, “Hey, you are just covering everything. Tech, VC SaaS, is that where you could actually bring in some more flavor to these conversations?” 

And that's when I started curating two sides of the coin, you know, episodes and between my seasons as well.

So whenever you are starting off, you will definitely have that fear. But if you have a very good strategy in place, which means that you have done your background research, you have done your primary research, primary research, meaning that you've already spoken to, let's say 10, 20, 30 people who would be your eventual listeners... secondary search, you have really researched on all the podcasts that are in your scheme of things as well. Let's say, if you are going for true crime podcasts, then listen to all the true crime seasons or podcasts available in the market. 

Find your edge. Find your unique storytelling arc as well. Like, you know, David Perell always talks about personal monopoly, right?

You need to find something that you are really an expert. You have the skills and the experience to actually drive that particular narrative forward. So, we'll have to find that particular edge and then double down on it. If you've already done your background research, the possibility of not failing is really high.

Even if you actually have less time on your hand and you want to just start off with your podcast, one day you wake up and you think that you are a good conversationalist and that you want to launch your first podcast. My answer would be go for it. Test it out. Who knows if there is an audience for that as well?

And, what are you doing with your first few episodes? Just take feedback from your community members, as well as from your audience. Your audience are the people who will really give you amazing feedback in the first few episodes, like Kevin Kelly always talks about your thousand true fans.

So try to find people who are really vouching for your podcast. For example, like if I have no name right now. Right? So maybe, you know, tomorrow when you launch a podcast, I will give a social share, and I'll say, “Hey guys, why don't you watch Jonathan Woodruff’s podcast?” You get a little bit of a social attestation as well.

And that way you will feel much more confident when there are five/ten speakers who really vouch for you. They've come on your show. They like you.  You’ve had some connections, your interactions with them, they trust you, and that will really improve your morale as well. So, so those are a few of my thoughts that you could use.

[00:22:53] Jonathan: Thank you so, so much to unpack there. And, that does lead very much into one of my questions too. which is, you know, if let's say someone publishes their first episode and it gets. Um, zero listens, zero downloads, zero, all the things. and they, you know, they feel discouraged, but they know there's things that they can do to build an audience and things.

So what are the steps that you've done or that you teach to really build the audience around your podcast?

[00:23:22] Saswat: That's a good question. And that's a fear even I had when I started my podcast last year. So, um, definitely do your research, but there's also, it depends on the kind of person you are. For example, there's a saying that a good performer always knows about his performance, irrespective of the results. And a mediocre performer usually cleaves for attention.

So if you’re really good and you have the conviction, then go for it. Eventually people will take note of your voice. You know that the gestation period would be long, but people will really realize that, “Hey, we love this particular guy. He’s authentic. He's genuine. He talks what he knows about.” And, uh, you’ll find your audience. 

It'll just take a lot of time, but if you are a little bit strategic, you understand the games of marketing, marketing 101 talks about distribution, right? So you should have really clear metrics as to how do you want to get the right audience into your show? If you have done a pre-launch by talking to few of the experts in your area, if you have access to some of the newsletters, if you have access to some of the industry’s famous blogs as well... You've done a little bit of promotion by yourself on some of the social platforms, whether it is LinkedIn or Instagram, whether it is Twitter, there's a possibility that you... 

In a sea of audience, you will definitely find, let's say a hundred people listening to a podcast. Come on. We are in the digital world. Right? So anything you post on the digital platform with a good visual, there's a high possibility that anyone will take note of that. So once you get a bunch of impressions, you'll have to convert those impressions to people who will listen to your podcast as well for your first episode, I would always say, try to bond with people in the digital world, right?

To have personal connections with them. And if you have at least a minimum of a hundred to 200 or 300 people listening to your first episode after you launch, it will give you a huge morale boost. 
You really get confident that, “Hey, now people are listening to my podcast.” So at least for those 300 people, I'll start my second episode as well.

So, that way you keep on building your audience and, you know, once you crossed 1K listenership, you will be super confident that, Hey, there are at least 1000 people who have already listened to my five or seven episodes. So after that, it's just a cake walk. 

So I think getting the first thousand fans for your particular show or your episodes would be a little bit of challenge. The way to forge online relationships is that, you know, talking to people very early on telling them that you've already planned to launch a particular episode and involve them in your journey as well as them. What could you do so that, you know, it will be a better product. And if they give some of the suggestions... to incorporate those suggestions in your podcast as well. Your podcast becomes better because people have invested the time or, you know, emotional engagement into it that they feel that “Hey, let's support Jonathan as well.”

And that way you will really become a nice podcaster, man.

[00:26:27] Jonathan: Those are really good tips. And do you think it's, um, I mean, is it totally reasonable to get, like, I don't know. It just sounds like a lot when you said 200, 300 listeners on the first episode, I was like, whoa, that'd be, to me, that'd be mind blowing. Like, is that something that, uh, you know, is totally doable?

[00:26:46] Saswat: Absolutely so on. I think last year was an excellent year to start a podcast. Even I was late by a few months. This year now people have started moving around. So obviously the, the listenerships are not as high as it was last year, but getting a hundred or 200 people is not that difficult as well.

Right? if you have a decent following in some of the platforms, let's say you are on LinkedIn, you are on Twitter, you are using Instagram. And some of the other platforms as well, then just drop kind messages, compliment people, tell them that they are doing great work and let them know that, Hey, your podcast is coming up.

Would they just listen to the first or the second episode? People are kind and gentle, like, at least that's what I felt on Twitter land. Right? I mean, if you give something, you get something back as well. So, try to force this relationship over, over a period of a few weeks or a month. And when you launch a podcast, I'm very confident that you will get more than a hundred listens as well.

[00:27:42] Jonathan: So we're nearing the end. So I just have a few more questions for you. The first one being, what's the biggest challenge you've faced as a cohort-based course creator so far. And how did you solve it?

[00:27:55] Saswat: That's a great question. So I think last year, when there was a pandemic going on in the month of March, I started dabbling or experimenting with, you know, creating cohorts as well. So I just went to (inaudible). Especially when you are in the digital world, you love to interact with your peers on a regular basis as well in a very intense environment, right? I tested out that hypothesis in 2020, uh, started my podcast later that year, and early this year I joined a CBC myself.

I joined the on-deck community because they were running a bunch of cohort-based courses. There were courses for founders. There are courses for angels. There are courses for writers, and there were courses for podcasters as well. And I joined one of those primarily because I wanted to talk to another set of fellow podcasters from different parts of the world, at least if they have started one, I would love to learn from their experiences and try to incorporate their knowledge as well.

And if they haven't started one, let's go through the journey together through the ups and the downs and see where it goes. So Ariel and me, we experienced our on deck ecosystem through the CBC, and we learned that CBC is primarily a community game, right? The more stronger and intense the community is, the more value you get out of the community.

And eventually you give it back to the community as well. Right? And CBCs are all about active learning. So there is no passive learning happening. You are meeting people in life in sync and having conversations with them and learning in real time. That's the beauty of CBCs as well. So we learned that craft early this year and after completing my season one, then I realized that how do we start it together, how do we try to create a curriculum around it so that, you know, there will be a lot of other people who will really benefit out of it. So we toured this part of the world, I tried to experiment it with another program that was launched by Spotify anchor as well. So we got like 200 people and put them into cohorts. And we really tested out a bunch of hypotheses as well. And that's when I realized that, “Hey, there is a longer, bigger game in play, especially in the audio space.” It is totally new. You know, there's so many things that need to be, uh, you know, uncovered. People have absolutely no idea what's happening in, let's say 2022 or 2025 in the audio space.

It's just going bonkers. So you need to know that if you don’t take on this audio space early on, you will really miss out on a lot of opportunities that are about to come later in a few years as well. So once that hypothesis got tested, we, again thought let's join an accelerator for CBCs as well.
And that's when I happened to join Maven, and then Maven really made us realize that, “Hey, there is a bigger play happening.” So try to understand the craft well before playing the game. As players in the game, you need to understand the rules of the game as well. Right? So that's when our conviction really stranded out and we ironed out a lot of our challenges in the first few weeks as well.

And now our course is good to go. So now we know exactly who our target cohort members are. We know exactly how we'll be building upon our future cohorts as well. So the challenge is just not having your first cohort. Right? The challenge is sustaining that cohort after your first, second and the third cohort as well.

Making that as a machine and setting up all the processes along with it. Now that's a very complex game. The easy part is just getting 10, 15 people setting up a course and, you know, sharing a bunch of, um, you know, curriculum material. And that's done. That's the easy part, But the difficult part and a lot of people that who are aware of the CBCs, they know that the difficult part is the community angle to it.

You need to sustain your CBC cohort after cohort. Today… you are joining the, let's say your spring or the fall cohort, but what happens, you know, when there are different cohorts being launched next year, would you find the same, you know, different kind of audience. So you will have to also fine tune your curriculum after taking feedback month after month.

So it, it is also an iterative process and like everything in life, it's a journey for the course creators, for the CBC instructors and also for the podcasters.

[00:32:22] Jonathan: Iterative challenges. The challenges just keep coming, huh?

[00:32:26] Saswat: And improving as well. You have to up the game, up the anti.

[00:32:29] Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. What are the top three resources you'd recommend to listeners to learn more about how to start their podcast… or anything else?

[00:32:40] Saswat: Number one is listen to a lot of podcasts. If you are not a good podcast listener, you will really miss out on a lot of things while trying to start your podcast. So go for it. Listen to all your podcasts. 

Try to find a mentor. If you do not have a mentor, you'll have to reach out to some of the best podcast creators in the world, wherever they are.

They may be in Austin. They may be in New York. They may be in the valley. They may be somewhere in London or maybe somewhere in Singapore or Bangalore. You will have to go out and make an effort to actually have stronger relationships with them. Right? Have an offer from your end as well.

And, have that conversation for a few days or a few weeks as well. Without a mentor, you will really be lost in your podcasting journey because whenever you have a question or whenever you have a doubt, you just don't know where to go. And whenever you are talking with your peers, they are in the same boat as you, so they will not know what to do next.

So, second thing, the most important one is to find a mentor, and mentorship is also very tricky, right? It does not have to be a static mentor. You can have it dynamic, a group of mentors as well, have three or four people that you can actually always go back to you know, have conversations with them.

And, uh, they are also open to devote their time to you. Sometimes your questions have to be really pointed and very focused. Right? Second is a mentor. 

And the third is, I think if you are trying to start a podcast, preferably do a lot of reading as well. And there are a lot of books I think, that are available on the internet.

There are quite a lot of books as well. I think the last book that I happened to read a long time back was around (inaudible) and, I'm forgetting the name of the person, but I believe, uh, there was a lot of rules that were said as to, if you are trying to go ahead in your podcasting journey, especially in the interviews and the narrative podcast, what are the elements that you have to keep in mind?

So those are the three of the, you know, pointers that I’d tell to any of the listeners as well.

[00:34:46] Jonathan: Awesome, thank you. Who else would you like to see on the show as a cohort-based course creator?... Or a topic you'd like me to cover on this show?

[00:34:57] Saswat: That's an interesting one. I think, a lot of people who are really good CBC creators are there within our Maven community as well. So I think, David Perell is a great speaker. I think if he's free for an hour, then definitely try to get hold of him. 

And, I think on Twitter, I've been conversing with a gentleman by the name of Jay Clouse. He's also really great too. You can get some nuggets of information from him. 

And, there are other few folks as well that I'm a big fan of and depends on the space that you are trying to operate in. 

For example, CBCs there’s an overarching team. Now within CBCs… there are multiple verticals where people have a nano focus. If you want to go for, let's say Bitcoin crypto, then go for Anthony Pompliano. If you want to go for writing, then go for maybe Julian Shapiro as well as David Perell. And if you want to go for, you know, podcasting, then there are a lot of people. One of my early mentors that I happened to get on my podcast was Andrew Warner.

So, he's a great guy as well. So, he could be one of your amazing guests as well on your podcast.

[00:36:09] Jonathan: Awesome. Thank you. And final question for you, Saswat. Where can people keep in touch with you?

[00:36:15] Saswat: Oh, I'm very active on Twitter of late. I've been told that I'll have to double down on my Twitter efforts. So, Twitter is the best way to get a response. My Twitter handle is arbalestpartner, which is a long name, but it goes A R B A L E S T P A R T N E R.

[00:36:36] Jonathan: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. This has been fun, and I learned a lot, so I'll be, uh, I'll be applying some of these things to this podcast.

[00:36:43] Saswat: Likewise, Jonathan, it was a pleasure talking to you as well. And I hope to see your podcast grow. All the best from my end.

[00:36:55] Jonathan: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to listen to more episodes, hop aboard If you'd like to be my matey, I would love for you to message me on LinkedIn or Twitter. And remember always captain your cohort, always be my matey, and never lick an iceberg while your ship is passing by.

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