Over the last ten years I have produced a heck of a lot of content.
There were the early days of churning out articles for the Adelaide Crows website, then TV reporting with 9 News, then the many blogs, features and press releases with TGB Lawyers, and more recently producing all kinds of content for clients through Apiro Consulting.
But podcasting has proven to be something else entirely.
I launched my first podcast, Rooster Radio, in October 2015 with James Begley. James and I work together on a number of projects and having the courage to pursue our ideas, and take risks where necessary, is something we pride ourselves on. So we decided to launch a podcast with a focus on business and personal growth, to see what we could learn from interesting people in business, entrepreneurship, sport .. any field.
We’re a long way off Tim Ferriss status but most importantly we have produced a creative outlet that enables us to get and give value.
What makes podcast content special?
Freedom and choice
Podcasts are personalised, niche content where everybody wins.
– The podcast producer
As the producer of your own podcast, you have full control. You choose the themes, topics, interview guests, and your target audience.
You set your own goals and metrics of success; for example, growing your personal or company brand, getting show sponsors, getting however many listeners etc. You have full control of all the practical elements including when, where, how.
This is a freedom unknown to media networks and their content producers who face all kinds of creative inhibitors, such as the need to cater for the mass market, high overheads, competitor threats, rigid scheduling, time limitations and often old thinking.
– The podcast interviewee
If your show features an interview format, guests generally enjoy the podcast experience. The environment is often relaxed and non-threatening; many podcasts are recorded in a loungeroom, office or home studio.
There’s no rush, so questions are more thoughtful and responses go deeper with greater context. This is particularly welcomed by high profile guests, who can be jaded by experiences with mainstream media where their answers are sliced, edited and sometimes misconstrued.
– The audience
Listeners have the power to choose. They can select exactly what they want to listen to, and when.
It is the opposite for mainstream media. You turn on the radio and someone else is pushing content at you, controlling what you listen to, from the content to the advertising. You can change the channel, but you get the same again.
In a world of content overload, podcasting embraces niche and fragmentation instead of attempting to cater for the masses. This opens up the opportunity for podcast creators to build their own, highly engaged communities (the ability for listeners to “subscribe” to a show makes this so easy).
– The brands
The niche nature of podcasting delivers better bang for buck for advertisers. Brands can partner with podcasts based on shared themes and interests, and deliver access to a highly targeted, relevant audience.
Mainstream media reaches a bigger and wider audience, but are they the right people?
Authentic and accessible
The media world continues its evolution into a beast where anyone can now be their own media company, and podcasts are a key part of that.
I started Rooster Radio with a $150 microphone and free Garageband software, which until recently was sitting unused on my MacBook Air. I used Google to learn how to set up hosting and an RSS feed, pushed it into iTunes, and almost as simple as that we were up and running.
It was rough and raw, and that was ok. The content itself lacked polish, but it was authentic.
Over time I’ve upgraded our podcast setup, we’ve got a little better at what we do, but it is still far from perfect. Even the biggest podcast shows in the world maintain a “home made” feel. That’s the beauty of it, it adds to the organic, humble and relatable nature of podcasting that audiences love.
I’ve touched on the power of listener choice. To go further, audiences have access to podcast content on most devices for listening at any time, online or offline (downloaded).
Audio is the only type of content that can be consumed on the go, without interruption. This is powerful. To read and watch means having to stop what we’re doing. Podcasting is designed for the “mobile” world that we live in, enabling listening while on the daily commute, walking the dog, vacuuming the house or wherever it fits into a person’s busy lifestyle.
Podcasting isn’t new, and while audiences are growing significantly (57 million American listeners this year) we haven’t reached critical mass yet. Competition is still relatively low among shows, especially when compared to the seemingly endless amount of written content that fills the internet.
Despite the fact that podcasts are Apple’s baby, the company has been treading water and underinvested in this part of their business. The upside though is a level playing field and few barriers for podcast producers. For now. The company’s relatively recent release of a podcaster’s dashboard makes me think change will be coming soon.
But as it stands there’s still great opportunity for experts, professionals and hobbyists to find their niche and take ownership of a piece of the podcast market.
Relationships and personal development
One of the most underestimated yet important aspects of podcasting is the relational and personal development benefits.
Not long after starting our show, James and I agreed that we didn’t care if no one was listening, because selfishly we were personally getting so much out of the interviews. The podcast gave us an excuse to meet with interesting people, some who we knew and others we didn’t, and have a deep conversation about who they are and what they’ve learned.
The interviews have helped us grow and strengthen our networks, and opened up other business opportunities.
It is amazing what happens when we take the time to think, ask and listen.
Podcasting is also a personal challenge. Not many people like the sound of their own voice. Sharing an opinion in a public forum creates vulnerability and accountability. But stepping out and taking a risk is the key to personal growth.
Podcasts produced by Apiro Consulting:
Other podcasts we love:
Need a hand with your podcast? At Apiro Consulting, we provide podcasting services including strategy, setup, hosting and production. Contact us.
Tags: audio, content, content marketing, podcast