13 lessons I learned as a newbie podcaster

On November 1st 2022, I launched a podcast for Caribbean Content Creators. I’m writing this article on April 25th 2023. It’s Anna’s birthday, and I just finished recording the 26th podcast episode where I reflect on my development, repurposing content, monetizing your podcast and planning interviews. In a future episode I’ll talk about a framework for interviews I’m working on; it’s called STEAM. (Anna is my daughter. She’s four). I want to share a couple lessons I’ve learned since launching a podcast. I’ll stop typing when I run out of steam. If I run out of steam you can listen to the episode by clicking play in the player below.

Lyndon Baptiste

Let’s start with my own performance and development. Editing the first episodes I recognized annoying speaking habits I weren’t aware of; the usual stuff. Filler words. Unnecessarily long pauses in the middle of sentences. At the end of sentences. They’re still there. But I’m conscious of them. And working on them.

Podcasting is hard. For me. Especially solo episodes. There’s something about talking to myself in a room, facing an acoustic sound panel that drives me bonkers. But I’m learning that if I pretend I’m talking to a good friend who’s equally passionate about creators and content creation that it becomes easier.

I’m also learning new skills and technologies. How to edit a podcast using Audacity and Adobe Audition. Then there are video podcasts. They aren’t difficult to pull off even multicamera podcasts but! they make the process of recording a podcast tedious. I’m considering using OBS to record podcast episodes, especially since YouTube recently introduced the ability to turn a YouTube playlist into a podcast. The brilliant thing though is the ability to repurpose content into vertical videos for vertical videos: shorts, stories. From one 60-minute interview with one camera, I created over 30 vertical videos with multiple camera angles. Amazing!

I’ve learned that it’s a pain in the butt, to record one episode at a time. Batch record!

25 episodes in and over 15 interviews later, I have even greater respect for content creators who put in the hours and freely share their knowledge. Trinbago Vibes, pointboy12, Fix or Fling; and Robert Gibson, a writer from Barbados come to mind. As much as I love interviews (I much rather interviews than solo episodes), as a one-man show, preparing for interviews is hard. Hours of background research gow into the content creator’s social media platforms, and I quickly need a framework for faster better interviews: I’m working on something; more later. During the interview process, I find myself talking too much and struggling to frame questions. I’m learning to listen more, pause a second before responding, and, always, consider the listener.

I wish I had positive news about monetizing my podcast as a Caribbean Content Creator. Not yet. When I do I’ll let you know. God willing. Long story short, I use Anchor.fm. Because it’s free. I’ve heard both mixed and negative reviews about Anchor.fm but I’m using it. Because it’s free. And on a shoestring budget, it’s working fine for me. Something worth noting is the video podcast (Caribbean Content Creators) doesn’t perform as well as my other videos on YouTube. They enjoy low views and limited revenue. I’m sticking with podcasting though. In the podcast, I also talk about networking, Instagram and how I use ChatGPT to plan my interviews.

To listen to the episode click play in the player below. If you have a moment to spare I’d really appreciate you leaving an honest review.

How to calculate property tax

Property tax is coming.
When I told my wife the news, she said, “At least someone’s coming.”

Let’s talk about how property tax is calculated and what you can do if you object to the government’s valuation.

Firstly, the property tax you pay is based on a percentage of the annual rental value of your property. We’ll get to the calculations for residential and commercial properties in a bit. Let’s talk about how the annual rental value is established.

All properties in Trinidad and Tobago have a rental value. That value is a calculation of the rent the property will attract if you decided to rent out the property.

Who calculates this rental value?

According to the OPM’s website, “The qualified professionals at the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance”. Hopefully, these qualified professionals are not Customs Officers. If that’s the case, we ass dark.

On a serious note, I really hope these qualified professionals aren’t Customs Officers.

The rental value is calculated on the location of your property, classification, dimensions, modifications and the category of the property, whether it’s agricultural, commercial, residential or industrial.

Let’s talk about how to calculate your property tax.

Earlier we established that the tax on your residential property is a percentage of your property’s Annual Rental Value.

So let’s say you receive a valuation that says your monthly rental value is estimated at $3,000. That means your annual rental value is $36,000.

To calculate your property tax here’s a formula straight from the horse’s mouth.

“the Property Tax Act makes it clear property tax is only three per cent of the annual rental value for residential properties, after first deducting ten per cent from the annual rental value.

So if you receive a rental valuation of $36,000, relax; that isn’t the amount of property tax you have to pay. To calculate your property tax, multiply $36,000 * 90% * 30% and you’ll get $972. I failed maths twice but my wife assured me that 90 percent on a calculator can be written as .90 and 3 percent can be written as .03.

Commercial Property Tax is 5%. So let’s assume you rent property to the government for $575,000 a month here’s how you’ll calculate your rent. To get the annual rental valuation you’d multiply 575,000 by 12. The total is $6,900,000. Remember, you can deduct 10 percent from that figure; so your formula for property tax is

6,900,000 * .90 * .05 which is equal to $310,500.

At the time of writing it isn’t exactly clear if government will collect commercial property tax. If they aren’t collecting tax on commercial properties, that’s a stroke of luck for the wealthy.

You’re probably wondering what happens if the valuation is too high or too low.
Let’s say you live in West Moorings, Lange Park or Palmiste and your annual rental valuation comes in at $36,000. If the value is too high or too low, you can object. In accordance with other grounds outlined in section 19 of the Valuation of Land Act, you can object.

A couple of things to note about objections.

You must object within 30 days of receiving your valuation. The office of the commissioner of valuations within 12 months. So if you submit your objection the same day you get pregnant your child should be 3 months old by the time you get a response.

You can submit your objections online at valuationdivision.gov.tt. Given the government’s track record with software, my guess is the online process would be just as frustrating as the salary relief program. remember the salary relief program during COVID-19?

Oh. One last thing. Objection doesn’t exclude you from paying property tax. It’s kind of how being a member of parliament doesn’t exclude you from renting buildings to the government.

Maybe that’s a bad example.

It’s kind of like when you say the child is not yours but you have to pay child support until the test results come back.

It’s kind of like how a song could be the anthem but that doesn’t exclude you from singing it over.

We’re all just singing along, whether we like the tune or not.

Simmy De Trini on $200 dates in Trinidad

In May 2023 I had the good fortune of connecting with Simmy De Trini, a stand-up comedienne and content creator I’ve followed since 2017. In this episode, we chat about dating, breaking into global markets and her upcoming comedy special Stand Up Down South. Connect with Simmy on her Facebook page. Below is an excerpt from our chat which details with dating in 2023.

Simmy De Trini: A woman had shared something [on social media] where she was criticizing men for even considering two hundred dollars as sufficient for a first date or for date at all, and I personally feel like it depends on who you’re dating and what your objectives are because for $200 you can do something very eco-friendly that’s cheaper if you just want to get to know someone.

I’ve had first dates that have been a cup of coffee kind of dates it’s not expensive I remember for First Data especially it’s an introduction it’s not something serious but if as time progresses you build into something where you want to spend a bit more money you want to splooge I can understand that as well however there are some people who out the gate that’s their standard that’s what they’re accustomed to so there are some women who they deal with a higher caliber of man and Pockets so they are accustomed to well first that is going to be on the yacht darling come on over and then they’re accustomed to that so it’s very difficult for them to see well hey I’m accustomed to high-end restaurants where I’m having the gourmet dishes and the steak and the sushi and they’re accustomed to that and then some fellas say:

“Yeah, we could go and get doubles.”

don’t compute so you just have to know at least me what you want out of a date and if you have a higher value standard that’s not the man’s issue that’s your issue to deal with deal with the higher caliper men and on the same in the same breath for those men who may not have the pocket to take their first date out to a luxury restaurant I don’t like seeing when they punch down on women for having that standard just because a woman’s standard is not what you can provide does not mean that you should bash and tell a come down from day that’s where she is at why are you telling somebody to come down from where they at strive to reach there if you want to reach that kind of woman if you know all your pocket can really afford is a woman who’s comfortable with Genna Baga paloriana double Palms cool good for you go for that that’s all but people like to make too much noise on social media for these kind of things particularly relationship type topics I always find that they’re interesting to see especially in the rise of the Kevin Samuels and the I’m trying to remember this guy’s name but there are quite a few misogynistic type podcasts and um clips that you see shared widely on social media as the norm and I fall in that bracket Lyndon where I am exactly what these misogynistic men do seem to like because I am plus sized oh my gosh she’s obese and she has children she’s a single parent and she has standards you’re not supposed to have standards like you’re supposed to and I’m in my 30s I’m 38. so it’s like hold up you’re not supposed to have any standards at this point you should just be glad any man is interested at all take what you get and humble yourself and I feel like no I’m quite comfortable by myself having my standards by myself and if it happens then great if it doesn’t happen well all right that’s fine too you know life goes on there’s no need for me to feel pressured to drop my standard just to fill a gap to fill a hole. Wait… is this a PG podcast?

Vince Warnock on Anchor.fm and AI tools for podcasters

Today we’re talking to Vince Warnock about podcasting and the work that goes into preparing for an interview. Vince is an author, marketing strategist and host of Chasing the Insights. He’s been presented with numerous awards and is part of the Fearless 50, a program designed by Adobe to recognize the top 50 marketers in the world who drive bold, fearless marketing and digital transformation. On his podcast, he talks to the biggest and brightest minds in marketing, sales and entrepreneurship.

Lyndon Baptiste: Tell me about ChatGPT for Female Entrepreneurs

Vince Warnock:  it’s designed to help as many women as possible. It’s designed for two purposes, actually, to help as many female entrepreneurs to accelerate their business. And there’s so much in there that will help them to basically 10x their productivity and to understand how to use these tools for every aspect of their business. But the other reason that we’ve done it is I’m very aware of the male bias in AI tools. In fact, we’ve just done some case studies on it and shown definitively that there’s a male bias in there. And one of the ways you get rid of bias in things like this is to train as many people, or particularly women or underrepresented people to use these tools because the more they use it, the more it trains out the bias.

Lyndon Baptiste: Recently, I was invited to a podcast and when the host asked me to introduce myself, I immediately froze. When you’re going on as a podcast guest, what are some of the things you consider in crafting a suitable introduction?

Vince Warnock: Yeah, definitely. The key thing for me is, I’m from New Zealand, for those who don’t know, and we have a bit of a challenge over here in New Zealand. We have this concept called tall poppy syndrome, which is in most countries, but we tend to have it a lot more over here. Basically, what it is, is we love an underdog. We love it when someone is doing really, really well that comes from nowhere, but the moment someone actually achieves success, we want to tear them down. It’s built into the culture here in New Zealand where anyone who sticks their head above others gets their head chopped off essentially. So the problem with that is it also relates to ourselves. So in other words, when I’m telling you, hey, I’m one of the top 50 marketers in the world, on the inside, I tense up and I don’t want to say that because it feels like I’m bragging and it feels like people are going to think I’m a jerk and going to think I’m arrogant and all this because that’s the culture we grew up in. So it’s always been a challenge to me to talk about my backstory and talk about my bio and all this kind of stuff.

So what I learned to do, Lyndon, is I learned a couple of things. First of all, I list out my relevant accomplishments. And I don’t mean like I got the scouts badge for not tying or the scouts badge for the other. I mean things that are relevant for whatever episode I’m going to be on or whatever show I’m going to be on. So if I’m going to be talking on a show about podcasting, what I have is I have that I’m the host of the Chasing the Insights podcast, but I also have some follow-up information on there. For example, the fact that it’s one of the top 2% podcasts in the world. Or if I’m talking about publishing, then I’ll mention that I’ve got a publishing company, but I’ll also mention that I’ve got a 100% track record on bestsellers, I’ve got five bestselling books out there, those kind of things.

So each of these, you have your key kind of takeaway. You’ll have something that supports it there. But more importantly, to wrap it all up, you’ll have a little bit of a story there. And that’s when people ask me, hey, Vince, where did you come from? How did you start your business? Or what do you do for people? I basically say, look, I have spent most of my career kind of trying to get notice from a child that used to hide away because he grew up in an abusive family. I used to hide away from the world. And then I realized that actually all of us deserve to be seen and all of us deserve a voice. So I’m on a mission to help other entrepreneurs do that and I do that through XYZ. So I bring these points to life.

So for me crafting it is really important. So crafting it so that it’s agile so that you can actually change it and shift it up depending on the show you’re going to be on and the topic you’re going to talk about, but also crafting it in a way that has a story behind it. So that way, for example, when I often when I’m talking about the Adobe award and getting recognised as one of the top 50 marketers, I don’t just blurt it out and say, well, I’m a top 50 marketer. What I say to people is, actually, I used to have the dream job. And when I was at Cigna, I was the chief marketing officer there. Everything there was on paper the perfect job.

The pay was ludicrous. The bonuses were insane, honestly. We got to work on some crazy stuff. I got the recognition. I got the results when I’m there. I got a slew of awards, including being recognized by Adobe as one of the top 50 marketers in the world, published my first book when I’m there, and I’m listing out all these credentials, but then I turn it around and say, and none of that mattered because I was miserable. So I’m not doing it as a brag. I’m doing it to showcase to people actually that despite all of those accomplishments, I was unhappy and I was unfulfilled and therefore needed to step into what I’m doing now, which is incredibly fulfilling So so that’s how to get over the shyness of being able to brag about yourself or the other thing I actually have some people who you know teach a lot of people to do this They’ll get up there on a podcast and they say well, all right If you if you must if you must twist my arm and make me talk about myself I’ll give you my humble brag and then they’ll tell you about one of their major accomplishments that gives incredibility.

Branding for Content Creators

In this episode of Caribbean Content Creators, we’re chatting with Christophe Pierre about branding for content creators. Branding includes elements of character, content, and consistency. We also dive into different types of content creators can post for a holistic strategy: behind-the-scenes; educational; personal; promotional; and inspirational. Designbyspirit.com is a creatively passionate team that uses visual tools to solve problems, build brands and on good days, save the world.

DesignbySPIRIT is a husband and wife duo that uses design, project management and branding to deliver work that slaps you in your brain, awakening your “Daaayum!” senses. If you want “ok”, we might know some people, but if you want work that gets talked about (in a good way), give them a holla!