First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jacob Bozarth: Thank you for asking. We are safe and doing well. In some ways, COVID-19 has allowed us to slow down and appreciate the extra time we have together as a family.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Resonate Recordings.
Jacob Bozarth: I’ve been a fan of podcasts for many years and always felt frustrated with podcasts with poor audio quality. I earned a degree in Audio Engineering from MTSU and began to apply my skills as an engineer to editing and mixing podcasts as a side project in 2014. After several years spent editing podcasts in my basement, I decided to take a major risk. In 2017, I quit my full-time job and dove full-time into building Resonate and seeing if I could support my family by editing podcasts.
Since then, Resonate has grown even larger than I could have ever imagined at first, hiring 13 full-time employees and over a dozen part-time. We have expanded our services beyond audio production and now offer turnkey solutions for podcasters from producer services for planning your show to video editing, show note writing and creating content for marketing your podcast, to even building our own proprietary podcast hosting platform: Resonate Hosting. We are continuing to pursue the mission of making podcasting easier for brands and hobbyists who want to create a high-quality podcast.
How does Resonate Recordings innovate?
Jacob Bozarth: Resonate stays innovative by listening to our clients and listening to our team members. We believe that everyone has a right for their voice to be heard, which informs how we receive constructive criticism and ideas from our clients, prospective clients, the industry as a whole, and our own internal team.
If you’re a client already, you know some of our greatest innovation and change is happening right now with software at Resonate. We’re dedicated to building better tools to make podcasting easier. We build, ship, receive feedback from our clients, and quickly pivot and build improvements.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jacob Bozarth: The pandemic originally affected our business heavily during March, April, and May 2020. But as the world turned to digital solutions for staying connected and sharing their message, we found that our numbers started to move back up.
Since June 2020, we have seen steady growth in podcasters looking for innovative solutions to growing their podcast by outsourcing the post-production to a trustworthy team.
We quickly pivoted to working fully remotely as a team, and since then have officially become a remote work company. The shift to remote work has dramatically improved our team’s efficiency and productivity, so we are grateful for the ability to stay connected and continue to work through this challenging year for our world.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jacob Bozarth: Yes, we did have to make some very difficult decisions. Due to the halt the pandemic initially brought, we decided that we needed to cut expenses quickly. Unfortunately, one of our largest expenses was payroll, so we had to lay off several amazing employees. One lesson has been that sometimes you have to make very hard decisions fast in order to preserve the overall health and well-being of the rest of the team. These types of choices are still hard and painful but knowing that you are doing them for the greater good provides some comfort.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Resonate Recordings in the future?
Jacob Bozarth: The main way we proactively combat stress and anxiety is by encouraging a culture where life and work can coexist healthily. Our 5th core value as a company is “Enjoy Life.” We want to create a workplace where every team member can feel encouraged to enjoy their work and life outside of work.
Since we are a bootstrapped startup team, everyone has to wear a lot of hats. That means we have to be ruthless about prioritizing our time and cut out everything that doesn’t directly serve our clients and push the mission forward to make podcasting easier.
Like I mentioned before, our company has been steadily growing from June to October of 2020. While I cannot predict the future, I think the podcast industry will continue to grow. More and more businesses will be looking for turnkey solutions like Resonate to outsource their podcasts’ production and create both publicly branded and internal private podcasts. The pandemic is definitely impacting industries around the globe, but many digital mediums like podcasting are staying fairly level or even growing due to the uptick in digital media consumption from people working from home.
We want to be on the cutting edge of these transformations in how businesses communicate, brands to market, and ultimately how people connect. We believe that podcasting is a powerful medium that will continue to grow and shape the world we live in for many years to come and want to help make it easier than ever to create a professional podcast.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jacob Bozarth: Resonate Recordings competitors in the podcast industry are other post-production companies.
There are a growing number of editing and post-production companies in the podcast space. We plan to stay in the game by building new innovative software and tools, consistently listening to our clients to create solutions to serve their specific needs, and double-down on providing the most reliable professional podcast editing and mixing in the industry.
Your final thoughts?
Jacob Bozarth: Thanks again for reaching out about the opportunity to share Resonate’s story.
My final thought is that everyone should consider starting a podcast for their brand or organization (whether they come to Resonate for services or not). You can create a professional podcast with just a few hundred dollars of professional equipment (mic, headphones, Zoom, or Squadcast), and it will put your voice in front of a rapidly growing number of listeners.
Some people say that podcasting in 2020 is like starting a YouTube channel in 2008… in other words, this medium is just getting started, so I’d encourage you to future-proof your brand and reach new ears by starting a show soon.
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