In recent years, the podcast has evolved from a simple audio forum to a movement that has garnered cult followings and bona-fide fandom in nearly every genre imaginable. Last week, LAB Talks took a closer look at this growing medium and the role the platform assumes on both a local and national scale. Who better to chat about this trending topic than expert podcasters and multi-hyphenates Twila Dang of Matriarch Digital Media, CJ Fortier of Blunt Cuts, and Beth Gibbs of Totes Recall. Here are 5 points we took away from the LAB Talks: Navigating the Podcast Movement panel moderated by podcaster and producer Levi Weinhagen.
Podcasting is a business.
To put it simply, starting a podcast is a lot of work. Individuals who set out to create their own mostly likely will have to develop an entirely new skill set. Combining that reality with the time and investment it takes to acquire the tools and resources to launch a podcast, every creator is essentially starting their own business.
Hosting a podcast is a way to position yourself as an expert.
The sum of someone’s expertise, self-taught or otherwise, is the culmination of experiences it has taken them to get where they are today. Each one of us is journeying on a singular path, and along the way we each gain valuable lessons and realizations. Hosting a podcast is a great way to showcase your expertise, giving you the opportunity to curate a conversation that can include both like- and unlike-minded perspectives.
Starting a podcast requires passion, focus and organization.
During the Q+A portion of the panel, Dang said it best: “Don’t make a podcast based on what you think people would like to hear. Make it about something that’s burning inside of you. If it lights you up, find a way to make it heard.” Two major keys to translating that passion? Staying focused and committing to a set of organization tools. This includes a schedule detailing set creative development sessions, recording times and networking opportunities.
Networking is the best form of advertising.
So you’ve decided to start a podcast. Guess what? You’re not alone! The podcasting community is one that would not thrive without the mutual support of the creators within it. Women in Podcasting is a monthly meet up started by Dang that acts as a forum for podcasters at any stage in their career to gather together for an informal discussion about all things podcasting. Social media and word of mouth are beneficial tools to grow awareness for your product.
Research is essential before hosting a discussion or recording an episode.
Regardless of the genre, a podcast does its best work when its storytelling consistently connects with its listeners. Whether your next episode is about a person, place or thing, research and clear intentions are the most crucial factors to ensure you’re treating your perspective with the integrity it deserves.