Creator Habits Podcast: Creating Space To Experiment with Espree Devora
This week's episode features Podcaster, Community Builder and Founder Espree Devora on creating space to experiment with emerging mediums & investing in one-on-one connections to grow.
Every other week we feature highlights from our podcast, which covers more tactical insights on setting up your habits as a creator.
This week’s podcast episode features Espree Devora, who’s been a prolific podcaster since 2013 (publishing over 1000 episodes!). She is a force in the Los Angeles tech scene, founder of WeAreLATech and championing Women in Tech globally, and is also a founding member of the Audio Collective, the hybrid live-audio creator community. She was also one of the first Clubhouse icon faces, has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and more, and has been a speaker at conferences like SXSW.
In this episode, Espree shares how she approaches continuous experimentation and play while still showing up year after year. She also shares her recipe for growth - one authentic and caring relationship at a time.
For anyone trying to figure out how to infuse the spirit of experimentation into their creator practice or looking to grow by carving out genuine relationships, this episode is for you.
To listen to the full episode:
The following includes some short excerpts from the full interview:
What are some of the processes you’ve developed over time to make production sustainable?
For several years, I was just like, go, go, go, go. So if I could give myself advice, I'd go back and have a smoother production in the sense that I'd outline what my processes are and make everything as organized as possible.
I want to use the word systematic, but again, I don't mean being a robot and taking anything away from the human connection. You know, don't automate being personal, but I think there's a really great balance between delegating to tools and never delegating human touch. I try to make my success indicator on the level of joy every day, rather than on vanity metrics like follower-ship verification, marks, team status, raising money, et cetera.
What has kept you going after 8 years of publishing podcast episodes across multiple podcasts?
One of the things that used to keep me going is a really strong commitment to my purpose. Recently, I felt a strong commitment to my team. Like the team has been outweighing my commitment to my purpose. It's like, I'm not going to let them down, like my editors and stuff, you know?
I also in the past, when I've needed to take breaks, created what I call remix episodes, which essentially are like TV. And so I'll re-air an old episode or I'll mix together a few snippets of a few episodes, which is kind of like a cliff notes of episodes, so that will buy me time.
But it's not easy. I think it would be a lot easier if my process and my end result were really clear. But because I'm such a heart driven person and I'm so driven by community, my end goal is extremely ambiguous. And so even though there's something really lovely about that, because I do everything from such an authentic place, it's also really difficult to keep going.
You have been at the forefront of social audio, have been experimenting with Youtube, and of course have been prolific in creating new shows. How do you create time to experiment with new mediums and how do you approach this experimentation?
[Right now I’m experimenting with YouTube and with a new podcast and something I’m calling a Podcast Audio Journal, which is a kind of behind-the-scenes look at being a podcaster]. And I'm like, I'm still in the experimentation phase. I feel like the experiment will be done when I get to a hundred videos. That's my goal, a hundred videos. And then I'll know, does this quote-unquote YouTube channel work…
But that's where creators get messed up — they do things because they want to do things, but they don't actually enjoy the production of it. So right now my phase one is not like, oh my God, will it work? Or, oh my God, is it going to make a lot of money or get a lot of views. It’s do I enjoy this? Let me try one and just see if I like this and let me do it on my channel, where I'm already producing stuff instead of going out and building an entire separate brand, let me just see that I like the production.
[And even as you do it, you’re experimenting with the best form for your audience.] I sent my editor an audio journal I recorded and was thinking of video, but I'm like, wait, I don't know. Like maybe they are better as reels. Maybe it is better as a short, I don't know. That's the point. It's an exploration. We have no idea how this information is conveyed in the most meaningful way.
As a creator, I always think about audience first. So when I say meaningful way, I mean the most useful way to the audience, assuming this audience are aspiring podcasts or or current podcasters. and they're like, what is it to be a podcaster?
[For my audio journal experiment], I just picked up my phone and used the speaker phone to create an audio recording.
I didn't get any fancy mic or any. I just had the idea and I took action. This is what it means to be a podcaster. And so those people watching my YouTube channel [asking] what does it take for me to be a podcaster? Like they would be able to say, ah here now I get it, now I know, now I learned something now.
So how do we format that content duration-wise style wise, everything in a way that makes sense. How much does my editor cut from my raw audio journal? That’s all part of the experiment.
Over the years, you’ve obviously grown a very large following for both your podcasts but also personally, how have you approached growth?
I'd say I've invested close to 0% on growth. I've always been obsessed with the story, with the sharing, the journey. And so I think my most powerful growth has been from sharing my entire journey and from empowering others. I do send assets to all of our guests, like these really cool video trailers and images, but I actually don't ask them to share because I just find that it's really obnoxious when people say share this.
That's not to say that that's the right way to go. I think that if I were to start over today, I would be religious about doing experiments and I would be consistently monitoring how the experiments are performing.
But like, everything I do is just caring about a human. Like I created this tweet that was something like: “you know, even if you have zero listeners, I'll still be on your show. Be more about your mission. You're worth it.”
And the reason why I created a tweet like that is because it just angers me that everyone is so obsessed with how many listeners does XYZ have? First of all, just talking business, you don't know what kind of SEO opportunities there are on even small podcasts. You also don't know what kind of relationships these will create for you in the future.
It pains me the struggles that creators go through. I'm in a chapter of my life where I'm moving in to joy being my metric for success. So the thing I do differently, what's led to me having a powerful, personal brand is caring at scale individually.
Thanks for checking out our first podcast episode of this new year! Next week, I’ll be back with the newsletter, but in the meantime, send a message, add a like, tell me how helpful Espree’s story was to your own journey…
Till next week,