No. 080 Quick! What Can You Systematize Before 2017?

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No. 080 Quick! What Can You Systematize Before 2017?

In this week’s episode, our goal is to send you and your shows sailing into 2017. This conversation is the first of a three-part series created with the sole purpose of enabling you to take your podcast to new heights in the new year.

Yes, 2016 was a great year for Showrunners as a whole and podcasting as a medium (except for the one guy who didn’t think so). But if we get our shows in shape, 2017 can and will be even better.

To accomplish this, we need to create rock solid systems for our podcasts. Systems to help us schedule podcast guests, record better interviews, edit our podcasts, and even systems to help us find sponsors for our shows.

Systematizing our shows can seem difficult and even unnecessary. But as you will learn in this episode, there are ways to ensure it doesn’t become daunting.

In fact, Jerod and Jon have systematized the process for systematizing your show.

Here’s what you will learn in this episode:

  • The whats — and hows — to better systematize your podcast
  • 3 Ss (and two Rs) for identifying opportunities for systematization
  • Why you need to be ruthless and realistic
  • Plus, Jerod’s 3 steps for systematizing your show in 2017

Listen, learn, enjoy …

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The Show Notes

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  • The Transcript

    Quick! What Can You Systematize Before 2017?

    Voiceover: Rainmaker FM.

    Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker FM, the Digital Marketing Podcast Network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free, 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.

    Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?

    Welcome to The Showrunner, the podcast for people dedicated to creating remarkable audio experiences for their audiences. This is episode number 80. I’m your host Jerod Morris, VP of Marketing for Rainmaker Digital. I will be joined momentarily, as I always am, by my handwritten-note-taking co-host, Jonny Nastor, host of Hack the Entrepreneur. This episode of The Showrunner is brought to you by Audible. More on them later, but if you love audio books or have always wanted to give them a try, you can check out over 180,000 titles right now at AudibleTrial.com/Rainmaker.

    As we record this, it is December 6th, 2016, which means that we are quickly approaching the end of this year — the end of 2016 — with 2017 looming just around the corner. To end this year and to get us ready for 2017, Jonny and I have decided to put together a three-part series that will prepare you for 2017 by giving you a few areas that you can work on right now over these next couple of weeks to improve in 2016.

    We have the first two episodes or the first two topics done, but we’re actually not quite sure yet what we want to do for the third one. We want your input. You can send us your input via Twitter @JerodMorris, or @JonNastor. If there’s a specific topic that you would like some tips on how to improve in 2016 as you head into 2017, let us know and we will take that under advisement and possibly use that for our third episode. With that said, why don’t we introduce what we’re doing here for this first episode in the three-part series, Jonny, what do you say?

    Jonny Nastor: Sure, man, let’s do it. I’ll stop for a moment taking notes by hand over here and I’ll join you.

    Jerod Morris: Excellent, all right. Today we are going to talk about what can you systematize better. This is the first part of our three-part series. As you look forward into how you can make 2017 better — how you can be a better showrunner, how you can be a more efficient showrunner, and produce better quality episodes and more of them for your audience — there are going to be few areas that will give you as much bang for the buck or give you as much of a return on the investment of your time as systematizing.

    Jonny, you and I were joking about this before we started recording. You’re 300 episodes in, or almost to 300 episodes for Hack the Entrepreneur. I joked that there’s no way that you could get to 300 episodes and not have developed some templates along the way. You said, “Yeah, I don’t even think you can get that far if you don’t have templates and systems in place.” How important has it been for you with Hack the Entrepreneur to systematize your processes?

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah. As we said, I think it’s completely essential. I used to be of the mind that I wasn’t good at systematizing things, and I’ve had to switch that. I think every showrunner listening — or out there, even — has systems within the way they create, publish, edit, and promote their shows. Even if they’re not aware of it. Cause we’re habitual, right? I love the practice of analyzing what that system is that you’re doing things in and then looking at them, typically when they’re written down.

    Once they’re written down it’s like, “Whoa, why am I doing step three and why am I doing step seven? Maybe I should switch those.” You know what I mean? Rather than just doing them habitually. I think that it’s not only important that we systematize, but it’s really important that we do it better and that we do it intentionally.

    The Whats — and Hows — to Better Systematize Your Podcast

    Jerod Morris: Absolutely. Let’s go through a couple of examples of ways that we have systematized on our shows. I think this can be instructive for those listening. Maybe you can see yourself or your show in what we’re talking about and say, “Hey, that’s an area where I can systematize too.” So we want to tell a couple of quick stories.

    One example is right here on The Showrunner, Jonny. We have systematized how we plan our episodes. We have the standard Google Doc template that has the intro that I say every episode all typed out. It’s got the ad read for that episode right there. Then we’ve got our main topic section, the bigger ad, our second topic area, and then the closing. Basically, we come in here and we just change the episode number and I change my funny little descriptor review. Today it was “handwritten-note-taking.” Then we put in our main topic.

    We’ve even systematized it further. This one wasn’t necessarily intentional, it just kind of happened this way. We start out introducing the topic, maybe telling some stories and broadly explaining why it’s important. Then, in the second section, we try to give some lists or some bullets. “Here’s some steps you can take to do this now,” or, “Here’s a couple of questions you can ask yourself to implement this with your show.” It’s general topic and then get specific on helping our listener really drill in and figure out how they can do it for their show. We went through a few weeks there, you’ll remember — maybe even a few months there where planning the episodes became a bit of a slog. Everything was totally open-ended. We were starting with a blank Google Doc.

    Now doing it this way, it’s really helped us narrow down, “Okay, what’s one specific topic we’re going to talk about? Here’s the points we want to make at the beginning, here’s how we want to really bulletize it,” I guess you could say, “in the end and give people takeaways.” It’s helped not only make the show easier and simpler to plan, but I think it’s made it better and really allowed us to drill into the heart of the issue and give folks clear takeaways, which is always a good thing. That’s how we’ve done it with The Showrunner. Add anything to that that you want to and let us know some ways that you’ve done it for Hack the Entrepreneur too.

    Jonny Nastor: I think that the ways that I’ve done it on Hack the Entrepreneur have been very similar, or maybe we’ve just adopted lots of them with The Showrunner. From scheduling my interviews, to scheduling — you and I, we have a Google calendar. It’s on there every single week. It’s not like every week, “Oh, should we do it at the same time?” It’s just there unless we have to move it. Simple things like that that just take out that whole process. To me, when there’s so many little moving parts in each show, I think it’s necessary to get rid of every single step that you can each week.

    So from the scheduling to the recording, my recording process wasn’t … I’m going to say recording to editing, batch the majority together because with both shows, I don’t do the editing myself. But I think I’ve adopted things from Showrunner, I know that I have with Hack the Entrepreneur from Showrunner. Because of being on Rainmaker, I’ve seen how template … We literally have a templated email that we send that has the bold, “What’s the name? Who are the hosts? What’s the date it’s being published? The URL? Where’s the files?” Then you send that and you know exactly. It’s not in different orders. Everything’s simple for everyone. I’ve taken that over to Hack the Entrepreneur and I use that exact format for my editor.

    It’s those simple things where you think like, “It’s not hard to have to write where does the title go each time or where’s the files.” It just makes it easier for everyone to process. It makes fewer mistakes happen. And I think it heightens the level of professionalism across the board. Because I get to host both shows, they’ve become very similar in the processes that I run for them now, because I see what works in different places. If it works in one really well, we might as well adopt it to the other.

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s smart. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t. I’ve gone through this a lot with The Assembly Call too, trying to systematize as much as possible. I have ways that I take notes during games so that I’m ready for the post-game show. It’s interesting doing it for a live show when everything happens so fast. When you’re doing a show that is hosted live right after an event, you’ve got to have all your ducks in a row. It’s not like once the game ends I have 20 minutes to go get ready. I’ve got to have everything set up.

    I use two different computers. I’ve got to have my notes on one computer, and on the other computer …. I do it as a Google Doc, so when I update it on my in-game computer it updates on the computer that I’m hosting from. I’ve got a system for how I set those up, how I organize them. It’s really the only way to be able to do it, stay organized, and still be able to start that show a couple minutes after the game ends, which is obviously important.

    I’m glad you mentioned the calendar. This is something I think it can be easy to overlook when we talk about systems and templates. We’ll think about having our editing template, and we’ll think about our system for post-production, but systems for planning are so important. One area for The Assembly Call that we’ve been struggling with a little bit is we have … Obviously I host the show, I have a couple of co-hosts, then we have other guys who sometimes fill in as co-hosts, and we want to get our interns involved. Trying to schedule everybody and making sure that we have at least one host and two co-hosts lined up for each show has always been difficult. We’ll do it via email and people will send this bulleted list, “I can do this, but I can’t do this and can’t do that.” There’s no organized way to do it.

    Literally I was doing this earlier today, working on getting a card in Trello for every game and trying to figure out the easiest way for people to just check a box and say, “I will be at this game,” or, “I won’t be.” Instead of having to dig through emails, we can always just look and see, “Okay, I’m hosting. Ryan and Andy will both be here for this show, cool. Next show. Okay, I’m hosting. Ryan and Andy can’t be there. I’ve got to find someone else to do it.” It makes it a lot easier, cause that has been a big headache.

    In a few minutes we’re going to talk about how you identify areas where you should be systematizing, opportunities where you should be systematizing. I think that’s one of them, is when you have these recurring pain points. It’s a headache every other week, or every week. You really need to take a step back and say, “Okay, there’s got to be a better way to do this. There’s got to be a way to simplify and systematize this.” Once I do it, not only will it save me time, but it will save me the headaches. It will save me the decision fatigue that often happens when you’re trying to make these decisions or you’re trying to do these things. There are so many reasons and ways how systematizing can make you a better showrunner.

    I’m sure now, Jonny, as you’ve systematized on Hack the Entrepreneur, you’ve gotten to this level. Now you’re looking at the next way that you can systematize. There are always new, more advanced, next-level ways that you can do it. Obviously, you want to start with the fundamentals first. I think some of what we’ve described here are really fundamental ways that we have systematized and helped our shows.

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah, totally. You have to understand them. I’m glad you mentioned Google Docs, because Google Docs is the most used piece of software within all of showrunning for me. It’s something that’s used — even with you and I, between the use for the live show, to the blog posts, to the newsletter. All of them get done on separate Google Docs every single week. To me, when you’re creating these sort of processes, don’t be so stuck on the fact that it has to be this perfect document the very first time. Think of it as a living, breathing document. Write out what you do tomorrow when you’re doing something that you’re doing. Just write it out, it doesn’t have to be good. From there you can just grow on it and perfect it slowly.

    I know that’s something I used to struggle with, was trying to make it perfect at first. It’s never going to be perfect. With Google Docs because you can live edit between you and team members or other people you showrun with. Then it’s just a document that is always going to be updated and get better and better.

    Jerod Morris: Yep. All right, in just a minute here we’re going to go through three steps and two R’s for identifying opportunities for systematization. We’re going to get to that in just a minute, so stick with us.

    Real quick though, this episode of The Showrunner is brought to you by Audible. Offering over 180,000 audio book titles to choose from, Audible seamlessly delivers the worlds of both fiction and nonfiction to your iPhone, Android, Kindle, or computer. For Showrunner listeners, Audible’s offering a free audio book download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check them out. To get started right, now visit AudibleTrial.com/Rainmaker.

    On previous episodes I have told you that I recommend The War of Art by Steven Pressfield as a book. Jonny has told you about how he uses audio books to brainwash his daughter during long car rides. If you didn’t catch that story, go listen to last week’s episode, because it’s great.

    There are so many reasons to try audio books. So many opportunities to fit audio books into your life. Especially if you are someone who maybe has been struggling to find time to sit down and read a physical book, maybe a half step to get toward that would be fitting an audio book into your life. You’re obviously listening to a podcast right now, so you have the opportunity for audio. Try to fit an audio book in. To do that, download your free audio book today at AudibleTrial.com/Rainmaker. Again, that’s AudibleTrial.com/Rainmaker.

    All right, Jonny, are you ready to go through these three steps and two R’s for identifying opportunities for systematization? That’s a hard word, systematization.

    Jonny Nastor: It is.

    Jerod Morris: I’m struggling with that word.

    Jonny Nastor: The two R’s. Yeah, totally.

    Jerod Morris: Okay, let me explain that.

    Jonny Nastor: I was going to say, “I are?”

    Jerod Morris: I know that sounds awkward.

    Jonny Nastor: “I are ready?”

    Jerod Morris: I know. I originally was going to do three steps. Then for the next part — after we do these steps for identifying, we’re going to talk about actual steps for systematizing. The two R’s were the first two steps there and I thought they fit better here. I didn’t know anything better to call them. Three steps and two R’s. Yeah, we’re just going to have to roll with it.

    Jonny Nastor: I quite like it.

    3 Steps for Identifying Opportunities for Systematization

    Jerod Morris: That’s what we’ve got. Okay, here are the three steps. Number one, what do you do over and over again? This should be pretty obvious. If you only do something once, there’s really no way to systematize it, nor is there a need to systematize it. You’re only doing it once. So you want to identify things that you’re doing over and over again every episode, like your show notes, like editing the episode and putting it together. Why would you go add your bumper music to a fresh garage band file every single time? You’re doing that over and over again. How can you systematize it, templatize it, and make it easier? That’s number one.

    Number two, what parts are variable and what parts are or can be fixed? For example, you could vary your introduction every single time for every show. Jonny, you obviously vary your introduction at Hack the Entrepreneur when you’re talking about the guests. It has to be a little bit different because it’s a different guest. The beginning of your show — the music, what you say right at the start — that is fixed. You could do that different every time, but why would you? You want to identify what is variable, and what parts are or can be fixed.

    Don’t necessarily go into this with preconceived notions. If there’s something that has always been variable, you could look at it and say, “Okay, how could that be fixed to make it easier?” I have an example of that in just a second.

    Finally, the third step is, if you invest a little time or money right now, will it save you time or money in the future without compromising the overall value you’re delivering to your audience? Obviously we want to save money, we want to templatize and make it easier on ourselves. But not to the point where we’re compromising the value that our audience is coming to us for.

    If Jonny didn’t even introduce his guest on Hack the Entrepreneur and did a standard intro that led right into the interview, that would compromise the value. Part of what makes the beginning of Hack the Entrepreneur great is the impulse building of describing the person. It sets the stage for the interview, it’s important. You need to do that every episode and systematize it as much as possible in there with how you do the research, how you write that. There are ways to systematize it, but maybe not the whole thing.

    Those are the three steps. What do you do over and over again? What parts are variable, and what parts are or can be fixed. Finally, if you invest a little time right now, will it save you time in the future without compromising the overall value you’re delivering to your audience? When you go through those three steps, that will help you identify the opportunities for systematization. Here in just a second we will talk about then how you actually go about systematizing from those opportunities that you choose.

    What would you add there, Jonny? When it comes to those three steps? Before we get to the two R’s.

    Jonny Nastor: What you do over again, yeah … Then the variable parts, I like that. What can be fixed or what can’t. With my intro, it’s variable but at the same time it’s exactly a template. The first sentence is the same. I’m like, “My guest today is a father, a surfer, and an entrepreneur.” Those things are — pull it out, the end one is always entrepreneur. That really makes my process of creating the intro faster.

    Plus it makes it better. To me, I think that sometimes as showrunners we think that repetition in those sort of templated ways of doing parts of a show is going to get boring for other people. I don’t think anybody else notices, and it makes you execute well, so therefore it heightens the level of your showrunner-manship.

    Jerod Morris: Showrunner-manship, I like it.

    Jonny Nastor: I was trying to put something big in there. I think that those are good things. To think of it like that, as in it’s variable but at the same time it can still be templated, I think those are important. Then this whole “investing a little extra time right now,” to me, this is becoming a showrunner. Changing from being just a podcaster who wants to do everything and every episode is this brand-new creation from scratch — it takes 20 hours per episode but it’s this perfect thing — to running a show. Running a show — one thing, you don’t have time or the ability to do that. Plus you know that it’s not sustainable, and it’s not going to take you to running a real show.

    It’s like entrepreneurship, it’s like going from being a solo entrepreneur to running a business. You have to take that little extra time upfront to create things that can scale and become better or bigger than yourself as the one. Yeah, I’m just going to agree with you, I guess, on those. And say to look at the variable parts that you can systematize within them, then really think about number three. Because investing that extra time really, truly, to me, is the essence of becoming a showrunner.

    Why It’s Important to be Ruthless and Realistic

    Jerod Morris: Yep, so now let’s talk about the two R’s. The two R’s are “be ruthless” and “be realistic.” We talk about being ruthless. If it’s not necessary, why keep it? Also, think about what is it keeping you from doing? Think about The Showrunner, if you have listened to The Showrunner since we began, you know that we’ve gone through several different formats. You may be thinking to yourself right now, “Hey, whatever happened to the listener question? Hey, whatever happened to podcast recommendations?” Yeah, we were doing those, but we had to be ruthless to get down to the essence of what this show really is.

    We thought, “Okay, we’ll keep doing that, but is it necessary?” Doing that and putting that together –that takes editing time, that takes our time to prepare it. If it’s not necessary, why keep it? We deemed that not necessary. There has not been a clamoring, no one’s had pitchforks at the gate wanting us to bring that back. If you do, by all means, let us know and maybe we change our mind. For now, we decided that wasn’t necessary so we didn’t keep it. Now, you also want to be realistic. You don’t want to make decisions based on what you’re going to keep, what you’re not, what you’re going to systematize, or what you’re not based on your ideal week. You want to make them based on the realistic week that’s maybe a little bit haywire.

    Let me give you a little bit of an example of this, of the ruthless and realistic part. For Podcast On The Brink — this is the other show I host about AAU Basketball — I was doing an individual intro for every show. I really wanted to add some history to the show, so I would always do this little blurb at the beginning. I would take the number of the episodes. If it was episode 141, “This is dedicated to the 141 field goal attempts that such and such took in his senior season. To find out who it is, check out the end of the show.” Then at the end of the show, I would give an explanation of this player. People liked it, but the problem is it took a lot of time to put together. I only have a certain amount of time on the calendar every week for that show.

    I finally had to say, “Okay, is this necessary?” The answer was no. It was a nice thing to have, and I think people liked it. But at the end of the day, if production was going to take me two hours instead of one hour, there might be weeks where I wouldn’t even be able to do the show because it was just too much. I had to take that out and basically templatize the intro. I recorded one intro now that runs on every show. I just plug in the audio file, export it, and we’re done. Aside from recording, it takes me maybe 10 extra minutes to do that show.

    In an ideal world I would spend more time, but I don’t have all that time. I had to be realistic about how much time do I actually have to do this show? If things go a little bit crazy in a week, how much time am I going to have to do this show? I need to be ruthless from there and then systematize as much as possible. I don’t want to compromise the value, and in that show the value is the discussion, the guests, so none of that changed.

    It’s everything else I had to be ruthless about to make sure that the show went on, but in a way that was simple and manageable as possible. That’s part of systematizing, that’s part of templatizing, is making sure that you protect yourself from your show encroaching on too much of your time. Especially if you’re doing second or third shows that are side projects, not your main thing. This is going to be really important.

    I think it’s also instructive to think this way for your main show, cause there may be something that you’re doing that you think is kind of nice to have, but if you’re truly ruthless and you have to get down to brass tax of, “Is this necessary?” … With The Showrunner, we deemed that the listener question and the podcast recommendation wasn’t necessary on an episode in, episode out basis. I think the overall quality of the show has become tighter and better as a result of that. If we weren’t ruthless we might not have gotten to that point. I think sometimes you have to be ruthless and maybe even kill your darlings to create a tighter, simpler, most of the time better show for your audience.

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and if you’re worried about being too ruthless because you think, “Well, maybe I can realistically do this,” or, “Maybe it is necessary,” I would add one third R if we could.

    Jerod Morris: Oh yes, a third R.

    Jonny Nastor: Run tests.

    Jerod Morris: Ah.

    Jonny Nastor: Which is basically what we did. We got rid of those things — and it could be a test. If people would have come back and said, “Oh my God I love — that’s the reason why I listened, because I wanted to know what else to listen to from you, Jon.” Then we would have brought it back.

    Jerod Morris: Yes.

    Jonny Nastor: We would have been like, “Okay, it’s more realistic to keep that, we’re being too ruthless.” You don’t need to know this stuff perfectly. You’re trying to be ruthless. If you’re freaked out that it could be wrong, think of it as running a test. That’s it. If the feedback comes back differently, go with it. If the feedback comes that you’re not being too ruthless, by all means. This is something to pull, and why keep it?

    Jerod Morris: Yeah. The ultimate goal here is then systematize and templatize the rest of it. That’s why being ruthless and realistic is so important, because you get down to the essential elements of your show. You’re realistic about what you can handle on a weekly basis, and then take that stuff and work hard on systematizing and templatizing.

    The last thing you want to do is invest time in systematizing on non-essential stuff. Now you’ve invested this time, you’ve wasted this time, and it’s maybe giving you some value, but it’s not really giving you the value that you’re looking for for systematizing. That’s why these are important steps to take. After you’ve identified your opportunities, then go through this process of being ruthless and realistic to make sure you’re actually working on the stuff that’s really essential and that will actually move the needle for you.

    Jerod’s 3 Steps for Systematizing Your Show in 2017

    Jerod Morris: Now, with our final few minutes here, Jonny, let’s go for a few steps for systematizing. You’ve identified the opportunities, you’ve been ruthless, realistic, and you’ve maybe even run some tests. You’re down to the essential elements. What you want to do then to systematize is, number one, act as if you’re going to step away for a while and need to document steps for a fill-in.

    I did this for several post series’ that we do for The Assembly Call. Not only did I end up with this great document that I can hand off to our interns if I’m going to be gone, or they want to do … Say our news roundup, how to take that from blog post to email. They’ve got this great document that they can follow step by step. By going through it, I had to basically shine a light, put a magnifying glass on everything that I do. Through the process — there may have been 20 steps, and I realized five or six of them I was like, “Well this is dumb, why do I do this?”

    Really highlighting that made it better and it improved what I’m doing anyway, in addition to formally systematizing the entire process. That’s really important. Then, of course, templatize and simplify as much as possible. We talk about templates. You can have blog post templates, you can have Garage Band templates for when you’re editing your file. I’ve also found that text expanders can be hugely helpful. Especially for, let’s say, your show notes. You may only have a few parts of your show notes that are variable — maybe your bullets and the resources — but everything else is the same. If you had a text expander where you just type in the word show notes and it will expand that entire blog post template, that saves you the steps of having to go copy and paste it from somewhere else. Again, it’s just quicker and it’s easier.

    Finally, embrace finding and potentially paying for help. When you have systems and when you have templates, it’s a much easier transition of duties to somebody else to do that. That’s why that’s so important. Jonny, what would you add to those steps and what other steps might you suggest for folks who are looking to systematize?

    Jonny Nastor: With this one? I don’t even know if I want to add any more steps. These ones are good. As you said, that whole figuring out if it’s needed first. I would just be adding steps that you don’t even need before you go to systematize it. I do want to figure out these text expanders. You’ve talked about these before on the show. It blows my mind that you type in a couple letters and a whole blog post appears.

    Jerod Morris: Oh I love them, I absolutely love them.

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah.

    Jerod Morris: I use aText for the Mac.

    Jonny Nastor: aText?

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, all you do is you go in and you say, “Our news roundup post is Six Banner Saturday.” I just type in the words, “SixBannerSat,” it’s all one word. It’s not actually something I would type in any other situation, SixBannerSat and this thousand word blog post template automatically fills in. I just have to go in and fill in the link and the text. Link, text. Link, text. It’s got the ad already in there, everything’s there.

    Jonny Nastor: Wow.

    Jerod Morris: It makes it so simple. Sure, I could have that saved in a text file and then open it up and copy/paste it, but that’s like six or seven more steps. When I could just, boom, open it up, type it in, and it just automatically expands. There’s actually something empowering about it too. It’s kind of fun. You hear that little — there’s a little ding sound that it makes when it does it. It’s like, “I just saved a whole bunch of time, this is awesome.” It’s a little momentum builder. It’s hard to explain, but people who have used text expanders will probably know what I’m talking about.

    Jonny Nastor: aText?

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, aText. It works very well.

    Jonny Nastor: Cool, I’ll link to that in the show notes for everyone. I use Canned Responses, it’s a free Gmail add-on. It basically does that but just for email responses. If somebody asks about sponsorships, when I’m sending it to my guests that their show is live, when I’m actually making requests to get somebody on my show — all those are templated. I edit them and personalize them from there, but it’s not like a copy and paste. It makes it so much faster.

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, it gives you a start.

    Jonny Nastor: Exactly, I’ll find that one and I’ll link to that for everyone as well.

    Jerod Morris: That’s great. So systematizing, the first step that you can take right now in 2016. Review what you’re doing, systematize it. Find opportunities for systematization. Next week, we’re going to go onto the second part of this three-part series on how you can use the end of 2016 to improve for 2017.

    We’re going to talk about ways that you can actually improve as a performer. When you’re behind the microphone you are performing. When you are conducting an interview, you are performing for your audience. We’re going to talk about ways — whether it’s mic techniques, whether it’s how to prepare — basically how to bring the best you to the microphone for your audience and create the best episode that you possibly can. We’re going to talk about that next week.

    Then, of course, our third episode will hopefully be determined by you. Tweet us your suggestions @JerodMorris, @JonNastor, let us know what you would like for us to cover in our last episode of 2016. We’ll take that under advisement and hopefully give you a good episode about it. Jonny, shall we wrap up?

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah, we should, this is good.

    Jerod Morris: This was good. Go to Showrunner.FM, join The Showrunner, and get on our weekly newsletter. We really hope that you get on there. We’re able to give you some good stuff each week on there, so Showrunner.FM. As we head into the new year, when we have new announcements we’ll be able to give them to you when you are part of that list. Go to Showrunner.FM, join us, and have yourself a great week until we talk to you again next week.

    Jonny Nastor: Take care. Now breathe.

    Jerod Morris: Nice.

    Jonny Nastor: You were on fire that episode. That’s awesome. I think I said like 40 words.

    Jerod Morris: Oh really? Oh shoot, did I dominate things too much?

    Jonny Nastor: No, it was good man, it was good. Even that last one, it’s like, “Well do you have anything to add?” It’s like, “I got nothing to add to that, man, that was awesome.”

    Jerod Morris: Okay, so let’s talk about this real quick. When we do these, that’s where I wonder. Should I stop after each one, and do you want to chime in? Or is it better to do the whole thing and then let you come over the top? I always struggle with that, then I’m in the middle of it and I don’t want to have an awkward moment so I just keep talking.

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah. It’s hard to say. Usually I really like them. This one it seemed like there was the first, the second, and the third where you had them all numbered. It was literally this formula of you going through it all and then, “Jon, do you have anything to add?” It’s just like, “Um…”

    Jerod Morris: I know, it’s kind of awkward.

    Jonny Nastor: Sometimes it’s really good, but sometimes it’s like, “Well …” I can usually fit something in, but it’s me just expanding on something you’ve said. The one in the middle was like, “Well …” No, the last one was like, “Well, you just summarized it so well, I don’t need to anything.” I tried, but …

    Jerod Morris: That’s what I mean. Let’s say I do step one, “Act as if you’re going to step away for awhile and need to document steps for a fill in.” Should I give my thing and then stop and leave space and then hop in?

    Jonny Nastor: See, I don’t think that’s necessary, cause I think we’ll go way too long then.

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, that’s what I’m fearing too.

    Jonny Nastor: Yeah.

    Jerod Morris: Maybe we should go back to what we were doing when we did the mini episodes, where I put one together and I was in control of that, or led that discussion. Then you did the ones that you did about interviews and you led those discussions. When we do normal episodes it kind of defaults to me leading the discussion, which leads to this, so maybe we should just alternate. In the next one when we talk about …

    Jonny Nastor: Also, this one was more laid out for us than usual. You had the first four points, then you had the six, and then you had the three. Last time it was literally you had like two points in the middle of the conversation, and we just based the conversation around it.

    Jerod Morris: It’s true, sure.

    Jonny Nastor: It’s not really an issue then. It was just this one time. I don’t think it’s really an issue. I was just saying, you were on fire, it was awesome. I’m not going to be like, “Well I got to talk too.” It’s awesome, just let it go. That’s all.

    Jerod Morris: All right. Well, cool.

    Jonny Nastor: I just lean back. I was just holding back. That was all that was necessary to make the show good. I don’t know.

    Jerod Morris: Well good, as long as there’s value.

    Jonny Nastor: For the show. Play for the song. That’s what we say in drums.

    Jerod Morris: That’s true.

    Jonny Nastor: Just cause there’s space there doesn’t mean you should do a drum fill right now, just play for the song, man. Sometimes that’s holding back more than it is going for it.

    Jerod Morris: Man, I wonder … That needs to be an episode right there. Seriously. That’s a great tip for when you’re conducting an interview. That’s a great tip for almost any type of show that you’re doing. That’s good.

    Jonny Nastor: It’s a great tip for life in general.

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, it really is. Let’s do an episode on that. Maybe that’s how we’ll end 2016.

    Jonny Nastor: Play for the song?

    Jerod Morris: Yeah, that would be a good episode. I like it. Let’s add that to the Trello board.

    Jonny Nastor: I’m a

    114 episodes