You could have the best platform in the world, but if nobody knows how to use it or what the benefits are, it might as well be nonexistent.
Podcasting is all about connecting with others via the magic of conversation, and anyone using SquadCast as their go-to recording platform was likely attracted to it because of the company’s emphasis on high-quality audio.
But what if your interview subject isn’t familiar with SquadCast? It’s your job as a podcaster to make sure your guest is comfortable. Using SquadCast rather than household names such as Zoom or Skype might be out of their comfort zone, but all it takes is some simple reassurance to get them on track.
In the virtual workshop “Get ‘Em to the Squad: Making Sure Your Guests Can Connect to SquadCast,” SquadCast founders Zach Moreno and Rock Felder joined community manager Arielle Nissenblat — along with several clients — to answer questions and discuss tips and tricks for getting your guests in the SquadCast groove.
Here’s what you need to know so you can get your guests on board with SquadCast.
Zoom versus SquadCast: What’s the difference?
Many of us are intimately familiar with our (not-so) new coworker Zoom after switching to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s understandable why some of your podcast guests might ask to use that platform for conducting and recording an interview. However, there are some key differences between SquadCast and the world’s most popular pandemic-era communication medium.
“We are a recording platform that just so happens to help you connect from anywhere in the world and sound like you’re in the same room,” Zach says. “They (guests) perceive Zoom to be easier, and so that got us kind of thinking about easy, like what does that mean … there’s a couple different ways we can really define ‘easy.’”
Here’s how Zach measures SquadCast’s usability:
- How many steps are involved for the guest? The SquadCast team counted how many clicks it takes to start a SquadCast session compared to Zoom, and they found that Zoom takes twice as many clicks for you and your guests to record together.
- What are the technical challenges? Everybody in a Zoom conversation needs to have an account and must download and install the platform prior to the session. When recording a SquadCast conversation, your guest doesn’t need to have or do anything other than provide an email address where they can obtain a link.
“Those are some of the ways where we’ve been able to shave some clicks off of that experience,” Zach says. “We don’t need their personal information there to really empower a great conversation and record remotely. And so those are some big wins.”
You might get a few guests who ask why they don’t have the option to use Zoom, Arielle adds, but it’s important to advocate for yourself. Simply explain that you want your guests to sound their best, and the easiest way to do that is to use SquadCast.
“We get it, Zoom is comfy,” Rock adds. “SquadCast is a relatively new tool, but it’s OK to say ‘no’ to your guests and push back. And again, it’s all about explaining the why, the benefits.”
The better your sound quality, the more credibility you have
To Rock, the No. 1 benefit of using SquadCast versus Zoom is its higher audio quality. And the co-founders agree a big reason for that quality is the way SquadCast records. Zoom and Skype are conversation-first platforms that record you and your guest over the same network, he says, but SquadCast records everybody separately, saving a podcaster a great deal of work in post-production.
When expanding on the importance of sound quality, Rock and Zach both cited a 2018 USC and Australian National University dual study, which found that audio quality influences whether people believe what they hear.
“When you make it difficult for people to process information, it becomes less credible,” Norbert Schwarz, co-director of the Mind & Society Center at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, said in a USC News interview.
Listeners are much more likely to trust the information they learn from your show if they don’t hear any glitches through their headphones. The clearer the sound, the clearer the message of the conversation, and Rock adds that if it’s free of distractions, that guest is more likely to walk away learning something new.
Believe it or not, audio quality directly translates to trust, and the better the quality, the more trust you’re building with listeners (who are in turn more likely to keep listening and engaging with your content — maybe even bringing new listeners along for the ride).
“It’s all quality first (with SquadCast),” Rock says. “Quality is on by default, it’s not like a setting that you have to do and adjust.”
How additional features (and existing resources) can enhance the quality of your conversation
Nobody likes paying extra for new features. That’s something we can all agree on. But SquadCast’s pricing system is designed to “grow with your show,” as Zach says, so the idea is that the more successful you are in growing your listenership, the more money you’ll likely be making, and the more you’ll be able to afford add-ons such as video.
“Listening is a huge part of our culture at SquadCast,” he says. “So the prices that you see are from direct conversations with lots and lots of people in the podcast community who told us what they think services are worth and how those could be structured.”
The company is also committed to offering the occasional free upgrades for users. For example, SquadCast recently increased the standard of its audio quality to 48 kilohertz — which is basically beyond what the human ear can hear — and that was a feature that all users got without raising the prices, so Zach says he’s proud of the pricing platform and the occasional freebies his team has added overtime.
Rock says those who use the video function to connect with guests on a more personal (face-to-face) level also don’t have to worry about the occasional connectivity issue. SquadCast records locally, so the quality isn’t dependent on the internet connection. However, to avoid a disruptive conversation, he says at least a somewhat adequate connection is necessary.
“But if there are any blips or any hiccups, you can rest assured that it should come out really clean sounding and looking,” he says.
There’s a few things that often help if you’re having internet connection issues, he added:
- Resetting your Wifi
- Making sure that SquadCast is the focus tab
- Turning off all unnecessary apps (aka everything but what you need to record in SquadCast)
- Plugging your computer into an ethernet cable
- Checking the connect and record checklist SquadCast provides (make sure to share with your guest ahead of time)
“That’s why we also have a support team on deck to help you out,” Zach adds. “Just because we really take your time and your guest’s time extremely seriously.”
💡 Pro tip: Zach recommends restarting your network once a week or so, because “we can often forget about the dusty little box in the corner that is now an integral part of our recording technology stack.”
And that’s everything you need to know about the benefits of recording on SquadCast and how to connect with guests effectively. If you have questions, feel free to give us a holler — your questions will definitely be heard (get it?).
Recording a remote podcast? Download our free podcast recording checklist to help you prepare.
Niki Kottmann is a writer, editor and occasional photographer based in Cheyenne, WY. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri in 2016, where she emphasized in magazine writing. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.