Podcasts: Overdone or Value Driven?
I hope you’re having a power packed week so far. Well, I am extremely excited to be sharing this email with you. The reason you’re receiving this one is because we’ve interacted before. And I felt that I could start my newsletter journey along with you.
While newsletters are a dying form of content, I’m trying my best to keep them -
This is for anyone who is remotely working on building brands, design systems or just powerful consumer businesses. And I’ll dive straight into today’s topic: Podcasts
I’ve always been an admirer of great content. A few years back when the podcast culture was on the rise, everyone took to it. Perhaps due to the low entry barrier to this form of content. It almost sky rocketed through the lockdown - for reasons I’m sure you would have drawn some conclusions to. But today, I’ll help you understand the nuances of what it takes to build a solid one and why - for every business.
If you are a service driven business, it’s almost a given that you can use this to differentiate yourself from being a sales driven to a marketing driven business. If you are a product company, it’s wiser for you to pick the area that you product most resonates with and build one in that sphere (In my opinion, sub-sectors that would do well for a podcast are: Sustainability, Hemp, FMCG (currently there’s no podcast by an FMCG brand who’s talking about the journey of building one. I feel someone like Shashank, Rohan, Raul, Ashwajeet or Sahar would do well in this space), FinTech, Healthcare, DTC, the list is endless)
When I started my first Podcast (+ Youtube Channel): Why Not, I did so for 2 reasons:
- It was essential to widen my network. I’m a relationship driven guy, so this one was definitely for me. While sales can help open the first couple of doors (in the journey) for you, it’s relationships (and referrals) that would open the next few. I found podcasts as a great way to speak with interesting individuals, over and above business requirements.
- The one source of content - Podcast, gave rise to so much more content that I could use on my LinkedIn (I wasn’t really active on Twitter back in 2020), but this form of content has give me so much to talk about.
Today, I'm on to my 2nd Podcast: Design Grid and it's just improved massively from where I started.
As a result, it not only helped me with all the above, but also got me connected to interesting people, thereby opportunities and most essentially - get noticed. (ProTip: Everyone consumes content on social media platforms. Few create. So as long as you are creating something, you’ll get noticed. Eventually, you’ll get better at it)
I launched an email campaign using a blitzkrieg technique. To start with a Podcast, you’ll need a theme. I picked ‘how did brand managers react to COVID’. Now the interesting thing to note is that: podcasts are about people (for sure businesses, but still, people). So my theme was about brand managers - instead of brands, which got me the attention I needed.
So back to the email strategy: I picked a Tuesday morning (10am) to send a very personalized email to every single brand that I wanted - and I sent it all out at once. Within the first 10 minutes of my email - my inbox was flooded with responses. They all wanted to know more and that was enough. So as long as your theme resonates with your guests - you will get their attention. This is for the ones where you don’t have a relationship with. If you already have one, it’s a cake-walk. (ProTip: Everyone wants to share their experiences. You just have to give them an opportunity to talk about it)
Well, the show is the easy part. No matter wherever you are in the world, Zoom & Google Meets make it possible for you to record one. So here’s a quick checklist that you would need to get going:
- Questions - to help you stick to the agenda / a common framework centric to the theme
- Intro & Outro - you could either introduce the guests during the recording or do a separate intro & outro for everyone, basis how much time & effort you’d like to put in. But definitely have one.
Born out of experience, here are marketing protips across starting & scaling your podcast:
- For your first few podcasts, until you have a set of fans or listeners, don't do live sessions. Pre-record them and use some time to edit them well.
- Keep the final episodes crisp, preferably a video (for YouTube). People would relate more. You could always convert it into audio (for Spotify).
- Use every episode to create multiple snippets, individual pull quotes (as I call them) and even individual posts across LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram. With one episode, you’ll find yourself with at least a week’s worth of content.
- Try to record all episodes (especially videos) in broad day-light. The night ones don't come out so well.
- Have a few basic questions that you could use to end your sessions with - more personal, less intrusive. Eg: If you were to host 3 people for a dinner table conversation, who would you call? Advice to the 18 year old you - always works.
Here’s a tentative list of resources that you’ll need to get going:
- Basic mic and lighting (if at all). I didn't have either for my first podcast show.
- Editor & Designer - either someone from your team or just any freelancer to help you edit your episodes, if you’re not well versed with the softwares yourself.
- Transistor - a platform to help you distribute your podcasts across a bunch of channels beyond Spotify & Apple Music, which you might not have heard of.
- LinkTree - to help you create one common link for all channels.
So that’s all for today. I aim to keep my newsletters bi-monthly (for now), very personalised (to capture my experiences, learnings & opinions) and definitely very enriching. If you realise, I still don't have a name for my newsletter. That’s by design - the topics would vary every week. Like next week, I’ll share more on how you build digital strategies for businesses to go from $0MN to $1MN.
I just need one help from you today - help spread the work on this one - share it on your social profiles and also, do send it to that ONE person, who you feel should have these in their inbox. Here’s a link to subscribe to my newsletter.
I’ll see you next week. Until then, take care of yourself - it’s the single most important thing you’ll need for the work you do.