Prioritise your Business Goals

Prioritise your Business Goals



written by Mike




Let’s talk about prioritisation.

When you start or re-brand a business, more than likely, you will need a strategy session to align everyone on the team. One of the most important exercises, especially when it comes to digital work is a prioritisation task. You and your team will need to answer questions such as how desirable the new direction is, how easy it is to implement it, how does it stack against other ideas.

Once you settle on the common ground, what will you do about the revenue?

Cash is a fundamental building block of business. Without money, your business becomes insolvent and bankrupt. Without the better word, it dies. Cash is oxygen for business and revenue streams bring the money in.

It is pretty simple, right?

So why prioritisation is so crucial?

Well, just like the saying goes “there are a million ways to make a million dollars.” Same with revenue streams, depending on your business you can have many different ways to make money. You need to find out what is the best option for you and your team.

Let take a simple example of a new business, a podcast production venture. A beginning professional will read and research how to make the business work. And she/he will find many ideas online.

“Sell a product!”

“Membership site!”

“Do an online course!”

“Passive income is the key!”

And, albeit, it all sounds fantastic, the reality is a bit more complicated. 

A few months ago I was helping a friend who wanted to take her business to the next level. She needed help with social banners, headers, and website makeover. We agreed on a discovery session to help her clarify her goals and brand.

Her initial idea was to develop a membership site where a user can log in, pay a monthly fee and view training videos and other materials created by her. It sounds like an excellent idea, and what’s even better, at that time we were working on a membership site for another client.

But, upon doing a quick digital investigation on her business, I realised that her idea might not be as simple as it sounds. Her social presence was non-existent; she didn’t have any materials ready or equipment to film the videos.




The myth of easy passive income had to be explained.

“You do realise that easy passive income is neither easy or passive?

Without any following, it would take you a couple of years to build an audience, products, and potential leads.

Do you want to invest money into something that will probably won’t bring a return on the investment? At least not straight away.”

Besides just me being a know-it-all, we also did a prioritisation exercise. It turned out that her market that had most revenue potential was an upper-middle-class seniorsAnd to maximise the earnings, she could offer services and products to buy directly from her. She had plenty of ideas written in her journal; she just needed a professional design, and a website came to a fraction of a cost of original, membership site idea.

I’m not saying that I wanted to discourage her from doing a membership site. The recommendation was to start building an online presence and following. Creating products and videos. And once the market is established, then invest into a new revenue stream.

But a high upside, no risk, low cost and short-term option was to focus on existing market and develop ways to deliver more value to current clients.

Similar to my brother who is a photographer with extensive experience in club and event photography. He wants to branch out into fashion photoshoots however his current work situation makes it difficult. His practice and social profiles are all about the events and clubs, but he is not making enough revenue to take a break and experiment with photoshoots.

What was the outcome of prioritisation?

Develop your event photography brand. Raise your prices so you can do fewer events and in the spare time starting doing photo shoots. No expectations, no pressure. Use your expertise, maximise the revenue and only experiment with other ventures if you can do it worry-free.

It takes months, years even to establish a successful business; don’t bet everything on an untested idea, especially if you don’t have a strong financial backing. Otherwise, the stress and insomnia will be the end of initial excitement that you had.

Every business is different, but we are all prone to the same fallacies. A new thing pops up, and we want to jump on the latest trend. Innovation, experimentation, and creativity will drive business, but when it comes to revenue and safe return on investment – prioritise your goals.

Every new idea means additional hours of work, revisions, and pivots.

Make sure that the time is justified.

Liked the article? Follow me! 🙂

Subscribe for the latest updates

Scoring Podcasts

Scoring Podcasts



written by Mike



Let’s talk about my favourite aspect of podcast production – music.

When it comes to podcasting, you only have audio to convey the message, to tell the story. No fancy graphics, no 4K video to distract the audience, no place to fool the listeners.

There are few elements of sound that you can use while crafting a story:

–a narrative, the most important aspect of podcasting

–sound effects, which add a layer of realism and drama


Music has always been part of human culture. It helps to connect people, to establish an emotion, to dramatise a story. Music will play a role, albeit smaller, in interview talk shows but today I wanted to focus on drama shows, storytelling podcasts. Look at the most recent top podcasting charts; you will notice that dramas, especially true crime stories are trending.

The demand is visible, now let’s talk about supply.

Stories always draw people in; it can be music, films, books, poetry. Dry facts are helpful but often boring, and in my opinion, any topic can be taught with success if presented to the audience as an interesting story. Audio dramas are nothing new, the minute the radio was available to general public; some artists creatively used the medium. The most obvious one that comes to mind is Welles’ War of the Worlds that in 1938 scared the US nation and skyrocketed Orson’s career.

In today’s world, we have an evolution of the medium – podcasts and audiobooks.



Audiobooks are perfect for dramatisation; however, there is often restriction when it comes to audiobook production. You will occasionally find publishing houses that allow music, sound effects and voice acting on material but more than often you will find just a dry narration read.

Podcasts are something else. The relatively new medium hasn’t got that many regulations yet and as a creator, you have a pretty much free hand in creating content.

There are many kinds of podcasts, as many as there are creative ideas but let’s look at dramas, or dramatised true stories such as Casefile.

These kinds of podcasts require a lot of work, research, scripting, narration and stellar production. Music plays a huge part in all that; it’s the emotional connection to the story, it often underlines the feelings that we have during listening, it exposes them.

Casefile is a quite different show. It’s not a drama per se, but it is produced like one. While the Host and our talented researchers focus on the story, I look at it from a different angle.

I also see it as a show and for the lack of better word, entertainment. It’s a thin line between sensationalism and making something respectful to anyone involved in the events. But the show must also be entertaining to listen, to connect with the audience and presented as a well-produced podcast.

After working on Casefile for some time, I learned a few tips that you can do with music, how you could make the episode even tenser and more real to the listeners.


Know the story

It’s important to know the story before you start composing.

The first thing I always do is to read the script, and sometimes I will research the case before I get the script. I’m interested in the beginning, in the drama, in the final twist and conclusion.

During the read, I will note down the people involved in the events, the ‘scenes’ that take place in the timeline and musical cues where I possibly will need to add something more substantial than just an underscore.

The ambience of the episode is crucial.

All of the episodes are tragic but there is a very different character to each of them, and it will guide how I write the music. Before I sit down behind my MIDI keyboard, I compose in my head, not the melodies but the style. I will know what kind of music different parts of the story need, be it rhythmic, soft, dramatic, hopeful or dark.

Know the podcast

I don’t always know the next episode of Casefile; sometimes we change the story at the last minute, sometimes we have a break from the show. That doesn’t mean that I stop writing.

To keep my hands busy and improve my skills, every day I try to compose a cue or two, build up a music library for the next episodes. To do that effectively I need to know the show, the podcast. I need to know a general atmosphere, the overall character, the nature of what we do as a team.

When composing for the future, have in mind the characteristics such as the length of the podcast, the audience and what kind of musical impact you are looking for.

Does the drama require more an underscore or is it music-heavy?

Try to develop the style that the audience recognises immediately.

Don’t go overboard

It’s easy to get lost in composing melodies, including a multitude of different instruments and effects, creating elaborate cues. What I learned with Casefile podcast is that the story always takes the first place.

The music is there to underscore the voice, to help make seamless transitions between parts of the narrative and to bring life to the dialogue. There will be parts where I want to make an impact, a statement with the score but 90% of it will be an ambient, soft tones, almost invisible to the listener.

It’s easy to get excited, especially when you feel like you wrote something great, however, unless it is a deliberate effect, then don’t go overboard with the melodies and cues.

Use instruments that don’t clash with the voice

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the timbre and nature of the voice. Once you know how the narration sounds on its own, you will know what kind of instruments and pads to use to compliment the voice, not the other way around.

With Casefile I try to avoid melodies with high pitch, especially when I write for string instruments, piano or guitar. These are instruments that sit in the similar spectrum to the human voice and will often clash with it.

Most of the time I will use atmospheric sounds, soft pads to underscore and melodies only where required, where a dramatic focus is needed. I’m also quite careful with rhythmic sounds.

Bass or arpeggiated synths usually work well, but drums or percussion can often be too distracting.

Rhythmic parts are great to build suspense and intense moments, but it’s easy to go overboard with them.

Listen to feedback

Even though I have pretty much a creative freedom when it comes to producing and composing for Casefile, the most important aspect of the work is communication between team members.

I’m not the only composer on the show, Andrew Joslyn sends me musical cues for each episode and often scores up to 50% of each podcast. Because the workflow is unique I often need to adjust, change or drop the cues altogether.

The voice always takes the priority, the music is there to glue all the parts together so mixing it low, or cutting elements of it are usually the best way to do that. I also look for the comments from listeners. Many people will comment on the voice or the music, but I’m interested in feedback that talks about the show as a whole.

We don’t want any elements to shine on their own; the podcast needs to work as one piece, as one story. Also, a lot of people won’t listen on a dedicated system, in the example of Casefile – headphones.

That means even though you may spend days on composing and mixing music, there will be some listeners who won’t notice it at all, listening in their cars or through laptop speakers. That’s fine too, don’t skip on the quality just because not everyone appreciates it.

In the end, it’s all about having fun, experimenting and improvement.

Even though I have enough music that I wouldn’t need to write for a few months now, I still sit down and compose new cues every day. It helps me to stay sharp and develop the craft, and of course, I like doing it too.

In the future, I will show you the technical approach to composing music for Casefile and what is my exact workflow.

Liked the article? Follow me! 🙂

Subscribe for the latest updates

Pin It on Pinterest